Representative Anthony Weiner released a report, along with City Councilman Michael McMahon of Staten Island, that shows the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost NYC taxpayers over $57 million. How? Weiner's press release explains what many people probably don't realize:
Typically, when city employees are called up for active duty, they forfeit their regular paychecks, and take their new paychecks from the military. Under most circumstances, this amounts to taking a pay cut.
To honor the service of New York’s City employees, the City has set up a program to make up the difference in their salaries – so that the families of men and women deployed overseas are not put under any financial hardship.
For example, if Mr. Smith makes $55,000 annually as an NYPD officer and his military salary is $45,000, serving in the military would normally mean taking a $10,000 pay cut. Instead, the city continues to pay Officer Smith $55,000 annually, the military pays him $45,000 and he must refund to the city the lesser of the two – in this case the military pay. In the end, Officer Smith gets paid $55,000 – his city salary – to serve in the military.
So far, Weiner and McMahon estimate that over 600,000 work days have been missed by city employees during military leave.
Weiner will propose that Pentagon reimburse the city for paying the gap in salaries. He said, "It’s an outrage that New York City tax dollars are rebuilding Bagdad while the Big Apple’s security funds get cut to the core. Keeping New York City safe is a round the clock effort and we need every dollar we can get.”
Mayor Bloomberg supports Weiner's legislation, saying, "Any monies that the congressmen can get from Washington are certainly welcome."