INDEPENDENT BUDGET OFFICE
The City of New York
110 WILLIAM STREET, 14TH FL., NEW YORK, NY 10038

For Immediate Release
June 16, 1998
Contact: Herbert Block
(212) 442-0629



* NEWS RELEASE *



IBO PROJECTS $843 MILLION SURPLUS UNDER BUDGET ADOPTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL FOR 1999

The New York City treasury will end fiscal year 1999 with an $843 million surplus under the budget recently adopted by the City Council, according to an analysis released today by the Independent Budget Office (IBO). This surplus will include $543 million in cash and $300 million that has been reserved in a rainy-day fund. The sizable surplus results in large part from IBOís forecast that local tax revenues overall will be substantially higher than assumed in the adopted budget. IBOís estimate of non-property tax revenues are $530 million above the projection provided by the Mayor to the City Council, while IBO forecasts $165 million less in property tax collections than in the adopted budget. IBO projects $804 million more in state and federal aid than assumed in the budget, but such additional aid will be fully spent during the year and will have no net effect on year-end cash balances.

Now that the Council has completed its action on the budget, attention will shift to budget implementation. The Charter provides the Mayor with substantial powers in deciding when and if appropriations should be spent by agencies, but it appears to stipulate that funds can only be withheld from expenditure (or impounded) if a fiscal emergency arises making such actions necessary. "Given the large surplus we project for the coming fiscal year, IBO sees no justification for withholding or delaying the expenditure of any funds provided in the budget. It is a fiscally responsible spending plan that, barring an economic downturn, will permit the city to close its books in the black at the end of the year," said Douglas Criscitello, IBO Director.

IBOís analysis also includes a detailed discussion of the debate over property tax rates and the Mayorís actions concerning recently mailed property tax bills. The review of the adopted budget also includes a discussion of tax policy changes and highlights major expenditure differences between the Mayorís executive budget and the adopted budget.

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