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PR- 162-08
May 4, 2008


The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, May 4, 2008

“Good Morning.  This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“New York City faces uncertain financial times.  No one knows how long or deep the current economic downturn will be.  At times like these, it’s important for City government to keep faith with New Yorkers.  And the budget we presented last week does just that.

“First, we’ve stayed true to our word and held City spending down.  We began that process last fall, when we directed City agencies to start tightening their belts as the first clouds began appearing on the financial horizon.  The result:  More than $600 million in savings in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30th, more than $1.3 billion in savings in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2009 and more than $1.1 billion in recurring annual savings in the years to come. 

“To balance the budget, we’ve kept total City-funded spending virtually flat between the current fiscal year and the next one.  We directed City agencies to be careful in determining where and how to save, so that the essential services vital to our quality of life are maintained.  We’ve also committed $200 million more to our public schools next year, helping us keep our word, and keep up our progress, in improving our children’s education.

“Second, the budget also keeps faith with New Yorkers by using tax receipts wisely.  Right now, the City’s revenues are running somewhat higher than expected – the final echo of the economic boom that’s now ending.  But we expect that those revenues are going to drop off significantly in the year ahead.  So instead of squandering our current good fortune, we’re using it to help balance the budget and reduce future costs.

“Third, the budget also keeps faith with New Yorkers by returning tax dollars that will help people solve their own budget problems, in many cases caused by the sub-prime mortgage meltdown and the ensuing credit crunch.  Using our combination of spending cuts and current tax revenues, we’re proposing to maintain the $400 property tax rebate to homeowners in Fiscal 2009, and in the next three fiscal years.  We also plan to extend, for one more year, the 7% property tax reduction that we enacted in 2007.  These two steps will ease some of the burdens on homeowners and pump money back into neighborhood economies.   

“Fourth, we’re going to maintain our longstanding pledge to do more with less to deliver the services that we all rely on, especially in tough budget times.  The good news is that we know how to do just that.  Even after 9/11 and its strong economic aftershocks, we kept New York a city where people want to live and businesses want to locate.  As a result, we came back stronger than ever – and we’ll do it again this time, too.

“Let me note one final example of keeping faith with New Yorkers.  Last week, we announced the second phase in our plan to cut the number of on-street City parking placards.  Since January, we’ve reduced them by nearly a third, or more than 25,000 – and there will be more reductions later this year.  That’s going to decrease congestion and free up parking spaces in many busy neighborhoods – which is good news for drivers, residents, and businesses alike. 

“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.  Thanks for listening.”


Stu Loeser   (212) 788-2958

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