Mayor Bill de Blasio released a pared-down executive budget for the coming fiscal year Thursday, outlining how the city will address the massive losses of tax revenue that are projected amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The mayor’s proposed budget, which will still have to be approved by the City Council, totals $89.3 billion—about $6 billion less than the preliminary budget released back in February, which de Blasio told reporters at a press conference “feels like another century.”

The mayor said the city will draw on the unprecedented reserves it has built up over the past several years and continue to seek greater support from the federal government to offset losses. But he made it clear that New York will still have to tighten its belt.

“Over the past six years we’ve talked frequently about preparing for a rainy day,” de Blasio said. “We got much more than a rainy day. We got a pandemic. We got something unimaginable.”

The executive budget identifies about $2 billion in savings and cuts for the coming fiscal year. It includes hiring freezes across many city agencies as well as concrete service reductions such as scaled back waste collection schedules for Department of Sanitation workers. Some city agencies will take a bigger hit than others.

For instance, de Blasio’s budget includes $641.8 million in savings in the education budget in fiscal year 2021 (not counting CUNY), but seeks to shave off just $23.8 million from the budget for the NYPD. The proposed $27.5 billion education budget is about five times the size of the $5.6 billion police budget, yet the amount the mayor is seeking to cut from education is about 27 times what he’s seeking to cut from the Police Department.

“Even in our darkest days, we have to continue to invest in the future, and our schools are our best hope,” Kim Sweet, executive director of Advocates for Children of New York, said in a statement on the executive budget. “That is absolutely key to full recovery.”

Sweet added that services should not be cut just because students are learning remotely. “In the year ahead, New York City students will need additional academic and social-emotional support to make up for the months of instructional time that have been lost to the pandemic and address the impact of isolation, fear, and loss,” Sweet said. “The budget cuts announced today would only worsen existing inequities and compound the immense challenges our schools and students are currently facing.”

While advocates are pushing to preserve programs and services, fiscal watchdog groups say de Blasio may be underestimating the economic hit the city will take and what will have to be done to mitigate it.

De Blasio projected the city will lose $7.4 billion in sales and income tax revenue this fiscal year and next. That’s $2.3 billion less than the Independent Budget Office estimated the city will lose, based on projected unemployment in a report released Wednesday.

Andrew Rein, head of the nonpartisan Citizens Budget Commission, said it was reasonable for the city to dip into the general and capital reserves to help offset losses, especially given the depth of the crisis. He also said it's reasonable to dip into the retiree health benefits trust fund, given the fact that the city does not currently have a rainy day fund.

But he cautioned that the mayor’s current plan and hope for more federal aid was not a long-term strategy. "There should be more significant spending reductions and they should be recurring." He said the city faces a huge cliff for fiscal year 2022—a $5 billion gap, despite projecting a $4.4 billion increase in that year's city revenues.

"Despite a fiscal crisis, the budget is growing and the city workforce will grow over the plan,” Rein cautioned. “We should be able to protect New Yorkers' needs, while paring down to core services.”

In the past, the CBC has urged the city to consolidate the union welfare funds, which it says could produce $160 million in savings. Rein also believes the city could save a billion dollars by digging into retiree health care plans, and points to the massive subsidies provided to the NYC Ferry system championed by the mayor, which average more than $9 a ride.

"This is not the time to provide a luxury service at a discount cost," Rein said. He added that the city could consider different weekend versus weekday fares.

There are additional savings "marbled" throughout the city budget, that frontline workers can and should help identify, Rein argued.

Some of the savings projected for the upcoming year would come from collateral consequences of the pandemic, such as the mayor’s proposal to keep public pools closed through the summer to prevent the spread of the virus—a measure projected to save $12 million.

The city also expects to see a nearly $200 million reduction in spending on the Department of Correction in the coming fiscal year. As of November 2019, the city was already expecting $69.8 million in savings due to the closures of the Brooklyn House of Detention and one of the jails in the Rikers Island complex this year. The continued decline of the population housed on Rikers Island is expected to produce additional savings related to jail closures and redeployment of staff.

De Blasio is still hoping that additional support from the federal government will preclude the need for more cuts. Based on federal announcements so far, $3 billion from the federal stimulus bills will be allocated to the city, not counting reimbursement from FEMA, according to the executive budget. De Blasio said he spoke with President Donald Trump on Wednesday and urged him to call on Congress to greatly increase federal aid to the city, posing it as a bailout akin to those offered to large industries and banks.

“We can only get revenue from the federal government,” de Blasio said, noting that the state is also in a difficult financial situation. “If they have $58 billion for the airline industry, of course they can make up the budget gap for the nation’s largest city.”

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson echoed the mayor’s call for increased federal support, adding, “We will use our upcoming budget process, which will be done remotely for the first time in Council history, to determine the best ways to deal with the extreme economic challenges we are facing as a City.”

With reporting from Brigid Bergin.