Mayor's Plan Calls For 23,000 Fewer City Jobs

Proposed budget includes steep job cuts, sales tax increase

Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a $43.4 billion budget Friday for the fiscal year starting on July 1 that includes heavy cuts in city jobs, cuts in services and increases in costs for everyday New Yorkers.

"When you talk about reducing city expenditures, you are really talking about reducing headcount," Bloomberg said. "You can only get so much blood out of a stone."

The mayor's plan calls for a reduction of almost 23,000 jobs through layoffs and attrition. About 15,000 employees would be laid off, including 14,000 Education Department employees,  and 7,700 jobs would be lost through attrition.

The plan calls for a repeal on the sales tax exemption on clothing, raising the sales tax by 1/4 of a percent, raising parking meter rates and issuing more fines to unsanitary restaurants. 

Bloomberg said Wall Street firms are expected to lose a total of $47.2 billion for 2008, and even more in 2009. The figures are devastating for New York City.

The mayor said Wall Street's losses will affect the city for years.

The city is also now projected to lose nearly 300,000 jobs through 2010. Some 46,000 will come from the financial sector.

The gap for fiscal 2010 is at $4 billion and growing.

Who's Saying What?

Naturally, the reaction poured in Friday after Bloomberg spoke.

Rep. Anthony Weiner said, "I believe that it's generally a bad idea to raise taxes on the middle class especially when times are so hard for New Yorkers. The work from the recovery bill we've just passed in Washington should send billions to New York, including for education. I'd hope the city budget will avoid cuts if these federal funds can be used."

Speaker Christine Quinn said, "Losing 14,000 teachers would deal a devastating blow to our schools and schoolchildren, which have shown remarkable growth and improvement in recent years. We cannot -- and will not -- allow this to happen. Our state and federal governments must step up to the plate and help us fully cover our education costs."

Teamsters President Gregory Floyd said, "We will be working to make sure that the mayor doesn’t balance the budget on the backs of working men and women. Like our predecessors, we will be coming to the table to examine the city’s budget woes, and we will see where we can be helpful."

Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum said, "While I recognize the need to erase our budget deficit, I’m concerned that some job cuts -– particularly those at (Adult Child Services) -– will compromise the safety and welfare of our children. Nearly 1,000 ACS jobs are slated to be eliminated, and this stands out as a major cause for concern."

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