Today Mayor de Blasio announced the details on his $73.9 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2015, which begins on July 1st. At a City Hall press conference, de Blasio told those assembled that "budgets aren't just columns of numbers [man]. They reflect fundamental values." Those values include a gradual 10% raise for city employees over seven years, a projected 8% decrease in fines on local businesses, and $20 million for arts education in city schools. Other little nuggets of budgetary wisdom:

  • $70 million for the New York City Housing Authority to pay for a backlog of repairs
  • $145 million for after-school programs
  • $20 million to aid CUNY
  • $6 million for anti-gun violence initiative
  • A 3.35% increase in the city's water and sewer rates
  • $226 million to resurface 1,000 lane miles of city streets (a $49 million increase)

The budget, which de Blasio called "progressive and honest," also sets aside $28.8 million for DOT initiatives, including the installation of 50 speed bumps near schools, the development of neighborhood slow zones, the installation of speed cameras, and intersection redesigns; $13 million for NYPD traffic enforcement; and $1.1 million for TLC’s safety squad ad campaign.

Thanks to $300 million from Albany, the budget begins a major expansion of full-day universal pre-K, including $300 million for 53,000 seats in FY 2015 and $340 million for 73,000 seats in FY 2016. De Blasio had wanted to include a tax on the wealthiest New Yorkers, but was unable to win approval from Albany.

The mayor's Affordable Housing Plan, which you can read more about here, will spend $41 billion in capital investment over 10 years "to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing." The mayor promises that this will create approximately 194,000 construction jobs and 7,100 permanent jobs.

Restaurant owners and other businesses are expected to get a bit of a break from the seemingly incessant fines they had to deal with during the Bloomberg administration. In 2012, NYC raised $859 million in fines, but de Blasio's budget anticipates raising only $789 million in 2015, an 8 percent decrease.

The budget, which is balanced as required by the city charter, now goes to the City Council for further negotiations. During his address, de Blasio also revealed projected budget deficits for the next couple of years, with a $2 billion structural deficit in FY 2016. "We are sober about what we need to address," de Blasio told the press.

But Ronnie Lowenstein, the director of the Independent Budget Office, points out that it's always in the administration's interest to throw in some gloominess, because it strengthens their hand in negotations with unions and other parties. "If you’re the executive branch, there’s a lot to be said for not looking overly optimistic," Lowenstein told the Times. “The sooner they say, ‘Oh, we’ve got this additional money,’ the more pressure they’re going to get.