Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council agreed on a $59.4 billion budget for the 2010 fiscal year. Besides agreeing on a 0.5% sales tax increase, the city will trim 2,000 (or 1,000) jobs, allow 16 firehouses to remain open, keep libraries open 6 days a week, and "spare 100 animals from being shipped out of the Bronx Zoo." The NY Times reports that Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker hoped that the economy would perk up so next year's budget won't be as severe, but the Mayor added, "If our economy continues to stall, this may not be the last word on this year’s budget."

The city explains that the "FY 2010 budget was balanced through: a cumulative total of more than $3 billion in agency gap closing actions that began 18 months ago; using surpluses saved from periods of economic growth; healthcare savings reached through an agreement with the Municipal Labor Committee and $887 million in requested revenue changes, which include an increase in the City sales tax, closing corporate tax loopholes and applying the City sales tax to currently untaxed energy purchases." Of course, any changes in the city's tax policy has to be approved by Albany, which is sort of distracted right now. Mayor Bloomberg said, "It is imperative that our leaders in Albany come to an agreement to pass bills that will allow this budget to go into effect."

The Daily News noticed how the city's budget talks have been "relatively freeof public squabbling because of the scope of the problem," since the city is expecting $5 billion less (!!) in tax revenue, due to the downturn. Speaker Quinn said, "Even in arecession, government's job is to protect and support New Yorkers. They need to know that they are protected, that they have resources like libraries in this time of need, and they need to knowthat ... government can work together." Hear that, Albany?

And FYI: At this point, the 2011 fiscal year deficit is estimated to be more than $5 billion.