The Mayor and City Council agreed on a $59 billion budget that will use $4.4 billion in surpluses to offer tax breaks as well as more library hours and funding for CUNY. Highlights:
- A 7% across-the-board property tax cut, in addition to a $400 rebate
- No more city sales tax on clothing or shoe purchases over $110 (there's still state and commuter tax, of 4.375%)
- Libraries will be open one more day, up from five days a week to six
- $21 million to CUNY to retain and hire professors
- $1 billion for a new police academy (no word on a police contract that attracts recruits, though)
- Bulletproof vests for auxiliary police officers
- $200 million to "transit projects, bike paths, tree plantings and other environmental initiatives"
- $2.3 billion to reduce debt in 2009 and 2010
While Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Quinn may have been double-kissy about the deal, Quinn did not get the $300 rebate for renters she had hoped for; still she said, "Sometimes you put ideas out there and it takes more than one budget cycle to get them implemented." The budget goes into effect July 1.