New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday the city may be forced to lay off workers after a judge ruled that a plan to expand taxi service outside Manhattan is unconstitutional, a decision that could leave the city with a $1.46 billion hole in its budget.
Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron ruled Friday that the plan violates the state constitution's ``home rule'' provisions, which protect cities from undue interference by state legislators. The taxi plan was enacted by the state Legislature after a failed attempt to get it through the City Council.
City lawyers said they would appeal the ruling, which they warned would leave a hole in the budget. Officials have said 2,000 yellow-cab medallion sales included in the plan would earn the city $635 million this fiscal year and $825 million more over the following two years.
Asked about the ruling Monday, Bloomberg said, "What it means is, since we really don't have the opportunity to raise taxes, it means cutting expenses and we will continue to do that."
He said some jobs will be lost either through attrition or layoffs.
Bloomberg added, "We still think that we will win on appeal, but it's going to be a real challenge.''
The plan would have let the city sell 18,000 permits allowing livery cabs to pick up passengers who hail them on streets in upper Manhattan and the other boroughs. Only yellow cabs can do that now.
Bloomberg took the taxi plan to Albany after negotiations stalled in the City Council. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature reached a deal on it in December but yellow-cab owners sued to block the plan
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