The New York City Independent Budget Office has published a new guide that explains in plain language the city's $40 billion annual budget. "Understanding New York City's Budget: A Guide" outlines the different components of the city's budget and the process of adopting it. The guide also provides an overview of how the city raises revenues and how those revenues get spent.
"The city's budget is like a giant jigsaw puzzle, with hundreds of pieces that must be assembled each year," said IBO Director Ronnie Lowenstein. "IBO's new guide shows New Yorkers how the pieces fit together-and reminds us of the important choices and tradeoffs policymakers must make to complete the city's budget."
In addition to explaining expense, capital, revenue, and other parts of New York City's budget, the illustrated guide summarizes the roles of the Mayor and City Council in the budget-making process as well as that of other elected officials and public agencies. Also included is a glossary of common budget terms.
"With the local economy slowing and budget gaps rising, insight into how the city's budget works has never been more important," said Lowenstein. "IBO's new guide can help all New Yorkers learn about and play a role in the budget process."
"Understanding New York City's Budget: A Guide" is available free from IBO. The 16-page, illustrated guide can be easily downloaded from IBO's Web site at www.ibo.nyc.ny.us. A print version can be obtained by calling 212-442-0632.
The city's Independent Budget Office, launched in 1996, provides nonpartisan budget, economic, and policy analysis for New Yorkers and their elected officials, and helps to increase public understanding and participation in the budget process.