Will city leaders use 9/11 as an excuse to saddle future taxpayers with debt to close part of next year's $4 billion budget gap?
Much of Gov. Pataki's proposed state budget (his costly expansion of health care, in particular) is a far cry from the leaner, cleaner fiscal plans of his first term. But in at least one crucial respect, New York's revenue shortfall has prompted a welcome return to his budgetary roots: For the first time in seven years, the governor is launching a concerted effort to reduce the size of the state work force.
As another budget cycle begins, Governor Pataki is once again citing his record of spending restraint. Adjusted for inflation, however, the rate of state spending growth actually has been higher in Governor Pataki's first two terms than it was in Mario Cuomo's last two terms.
Overshadowed by his predecessor for most of an all-too-brief transition period, Michael Bloomberg has emerged into the mayoral spotlight with an impressive early show of fiscal leadership.
One of first things Mayor Bloomberg needs to do is to disabuse himself of the notion that the city's budget gap is mainly "a revenue problem," as he put it soon after the election.
Yes, revenue projections have fallen sharply in the wake of the World Trade Center attack. But the city faced a budget gap even pre-9/11 - and the fundamental reason is spending.
New York City's severe post-9/11 fiscal crunch has prompted fresh calls in some quarters for reinstating the city's commuter tax, which could generate as much as $500 million, to help close a projected budget gap of $3.5 billion.
In the wake of the attack on the World Trade Center, New York City faces a budget gap of at least $3.6 billion. As a result, Michael Bloomberg will confront the city’s most serious financial crisis in a decade.
Just before the attack on the World Trade Center, Mike Bloomberg said he couldn't "prudently promise" not to raise city taxes, "because you can't see the future."