The New York City Council on Tuesday approved a two week extension of the filing deadline for the mayor’s preliminary Fiscal 2019 budget and management reports as officials digested Gov. Andrew Cuomo's spending plans.
"With the state facing a more than $4 billion budget hole, the governor’s proposals have substantial bearing on the roughly $15 billion in aid the city gets from Albany," said Doug Turetsky, the Independent Budget Office’s chief of staff. "Throw in the need to project the effect of federal tax changes on tax revenues and you’ve got ample reason to take some additional time before presenting a the preliminary budget for the city.”
The council voted unanimously to give Mayor Bill de Blasio until to Feb. 1 to produce a preliminary budget and Feb. 15 for the preliminary management report. The previous city charter-mandated deadlines were Jan. 16 for preliminary budget and Jan. 30 for the management report. Gov. Cuomo announced his budget plans in a speech Tuesday.
The city council's bill also changed some other charter-mandated dates, such as:
- The mayor’s submission and publication of a preliminary certificate regarding debt and reserves and appropriations and expenditures for capital projects to no later than Feb. 1 (formerly Jan. 16);
- The Independent Budget Office’s report with respect to expected levels of revenues and expenditures to no later than Feb. 16 (formerly Feb. 1);
- Community Board statements and recommendations in regard to the preliminary budget to no later than March 5 (formerly Feb. 15);
- The Department of Finance’s estimate of assessed valuation of real property and certified statement of all real property taxes due and uncollected to no later than March 5 (formerly Feb.15);
- The mayor’s submission of tax benefit report to no later than March 5 (formerly Feb.15);
- Borough Board statement on budget priorities after public hearing to no later than March 13 (formerly Feb. 25);
- The Council’s approval and submission of operating budget to no later than March 26; Borough President modifications and recommendations to no later than March 26 (formerly March 10);
- Campaign Finance Board’s approval and submission of operating budget to no later than March 26 (formerly March 10);
- IBO’s report on the preliminary budget to no later than March 30 (formerly March 15); Council’s hearings and submission of recommendations on the preliminary budget and the mayor’s preliminary management report to no later than April 10 (formerly March 25); and
- The Council’s public hearings and report with recommendations on mayor’s preliminary management report to no later than April 24 (formerly April 8).
The 49-0 afternoon vote by the council came after the Finance Committee approved 12-0 it in the morning. The finance panel was told the change in deadlines would have no effect on the timing of the Council's own hearings and negotiations on the fiscal 2019 budget.
The bill was introduced by Councilmember Daniel Dromm at the mayor's request. Dromm took over Tuesday as chair of the Finance Committee, a key position that plays a part in the budget negotiations with the Council, mayor and the Office of Management and Budget.
Dromm replaced Julissa Ferris-Copeland, who chose not to seek re-election to the City Council last year. He was first elected to the Council in 2009 and represents District 25 in Queens. He was formerly chair of the Council’s Education Committee and was a public school teacher in Queens before entering public service.
The OMB is the city's chief financial agency. It helps implement the city's bond programs and conducts legal reviews of capital projects for financing with bond proceeds. The OMB also oversees the city’s expense budget ($85.99 billion for fiscal year 2018) and capital budget ($16.2 billion for fiscal 2018).
Last month, the mayor promoted OMB Director Dean Fuleihan to be First Deputy Mayor and picked Melanie Hartzog to become the city's first African-American budget chief. Last week, the mayor named Avi Fink as chief of staff at OMB.
Last year, Fuleihan ran point on the city’s budget, which passed well before the required June 30 deadline. Hartzog was formerly a deputy director at the OMB for health and human services.