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PR- 259-05
July 3, 2005


The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, June 26, 2005

"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

"Earlier this week, the City Council and I reached an agreement on a City budget for the new fiscal year, which will run from now through next July. This marked the fourth year in a row that we've reached a fair and balanced budget on time. And that's a tribute to all of our city's elected officials who are working together for the sake of every New Yorker.

"This year's approximately $50 billion spending plan reflects the priorities of our Administration, and will help us keep our streets safe and clean... continue to improve our schools... create jobs... and improve our quality of life in all five boroughs. It includes $500 million in tax relief for hard-working New Yorkers and their families. Once again, homeowners will receive a $400 property tax rebate for reaching deeper into their pockets and helping pull our city out of our fiscal crisis. We are also eliminating the City sales tax on clothing and footwear priced under $110. This will help more New Yorkers make ends meet, and curb the loss of shopping dollars to neighboring cities and states. The sales tax exemption will take effect September 1st, just in time for that last minute back-to-school shopping.

"We are also making the significant and necessary investments in our future with more than $14 billion in the budget for education - a nearly $750 million increase from the previous year. We took a monumental step forward this past year in our effort to reform our public schools and give every child the education they need and deserve. We began to see clear signs of progress after students in all grade levels achieved record increases in test scores. Now we are going to build on these gains by opening new schools, decreasing class size, making schools safer, and expanding teacher mentoring programs.

"The fact that the new budget increases funding for education and offers all New Yorkers tax relief - while protecting our city's core services - underscores just how far New York has come over the past four years. We still need to continue to be fiscally responsible and restrain spending wherever possible, but the fiscal crisis that followed 9/11 is behind us and our economy is growing again. In fact, New York City's economic growth is outpacing the nation's for the first time since before the recession began in 2001. Unemployment hasn't been this low since before 9/11. Crime is down nearly 20% from four years ago. Our streets are cleaner than they've been in 30 years. And with new parks and open spaces being developed in all five boroughs, our quality of life has never been stronger.

"This is great news for all New Yorkers this holiday weekend. I'll be celebrating July 4th in Singapore, where we are making New York's final presentation to the International Olympic Committee in hopes of hosting the 2012 Summer Games. Let me tell you, even though I'll be halfway around the world, the spirit of Independence Day will be burning brightly. And like you, I'll be thinking about our young men and women who are also thousands of miles from home, defending the same freedoms and ideals that we fought for in 1776.

"Enjoy this holiday, and please remember to celebrate safely and responsibly. Don't drink and drive, or get into a car with anyone who does. And don't use fireworks which can be extremely dangerous and are illegal in New York State.. Have a great and safe holiday weekend. And cross your fingers for the Summer Games. If we get them, then you'll really see some fireworks.

"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."


Edward Skyler   (212) 788-2958

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