New York City Mayor Eric Adams released his administration’s budget for next year on Thursday and with it a number of cuts to cover a ballooning financial gap.
The next five police academy classes are canceled, which city officials estimate will bring the total number of NYPD officers from 33,000 to 29,000 in the next two years.
The city said it projects spending approximately $12 billion on the ongoing migrant crisis over the next two years.
City officials said next year’s budget gap has grown from $5 billion in June to more than $7 billion in November.
“I believe New Yorkers like plain talk, we’re in some financial trouble right now,” Adams said at an event in Chelsea.
“This is truly a disaster for every New Yorker who cares about safe streets,” Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Henry said in a statement. “Cops are already stretched to our breaking point, and these cuts will return us to staffing levels we haven’t seen since the crime epidemic of the ‘80s and ‘90s. We cannot go back there.”
Details about the city’s budget cuts are scarce in part because city officials only held a virtual briefing on Thursday and reporters were not allowed to use any quotes from it. The city did not distribute any detailed budget books.
“To balance the budget as the law requires, every city agency dug into their own budget to find savings, with minimal disruption to services,” Adams said in a statement. “And while we pulled it off this time, make no mistake: Migrant costs are going up, tax revenue growth is slowing, and COVID stimulus funding is drying up”
The administration said residents could expect a $1 billion in cuts to schools and that after-school programs will be scaled back.
“The budget cuts proposed today risk doing harm to the wellbeing of all New Yorkers, especially our most vulnerable,” City Comptroller Brad Lander said in a statement. “City Hall should stop suggesting that asylum seekers are the reason for imposing severe cuts when they are only contributing to a portion of these budget gaps, much of which already existed.”
The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Public Library said they would need to eliminate Sunday service.
“Without sufficient funding, we cannot sustain our current levels of service, and any further cuts to the Libraries’ budgets will, unfortunately, result in deeper service impacts,” the libraries said in a statement.