Mayor Bloomberg presented a $59.1 billion budget for the 2009 fiscal year, with spending essentially remaining flat (the increase is just 0.1%). While he said the faltering economy means we should all "pray Wall Street does well" given the "scary" reality, Bloomberg did say the city could afford a property tax rebate and property tax rate cut.
The new budget would, as the NY Times puts it, "virtually halt the growth in city spending for the first time since the economic downturn following 9/11." The city was able to use $4.5 billion in surplus money, but deficits look like they'll be $1.3 billion in FY 2010, $4.6 billion in FY 2011 and $10.3 billion in 2012.
Bloomberg pointed out Wall Street's writedowns and declining commercial real estate make the city's economic outlook uncertain (though tourism has been great). He also warned that if arbitrators decide to raise police salaries more than the city is offering, there could be "an enormous hole overnight."
Overall, people are cautiously praising the Mayor. The Citizens Budget Commission said, "He's recognized the problem and is taking the right actions." And while City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is concerned about certain cuts, she said the mayor was acting responsibly.