May 27, 2020 By Allie Griffin
New York City faces a whopping $9 billion deficit due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.
The budget hole was originally estimated to be around $7.4 billion through to June 30, 2021 — but has widened by another $1.6 billion, the mayor said.
“We are now $9 billion in the hole between the current fiscal year and the one that begins July 1,” de Blasio said at City Hall.
The city’s fiscal year begins July 1 and the city council and mayor must pass a 2021 budget by the end of June.
The city is on a time crunch to either make additional budget cuts or find others sources of funds– such as tapping into its reserves or borrowing money. All options are on the table.
“There is literally no way we can solve this problem without federal help or without having to make very very painful choices that will affect the quality of life in this city, our ability to provide basic services and how many people we’re able to employ,” de Blasio said.
He warned that without federal help, the loss of revenue would continue into the next fiscal year and beyond.
An economic relief package that would provide $17.2 billion to New York City has passed the House of Representatives — but has met fierce resistance from the Republican-controlled Senate.
De Blasio urged Congress to pass the package of bills named the HEROES Act.
However, if the federal government doesn’t provide relief, he said New York City could borrow the funds as a last resort.
He is calling on the state to grant the city borrowing power as a “safety net.”
“It’s not something we want to use or intend to use in the first instance,” he said. “But it’s something we need as a last resort if our federal government isn’t there for us.”