Providing city officials & the public with nonpartisan information on the
NYC budget & economy

Budget Options for New York City

The Independent Budget Office (IBO) periodically issues a volume of budget options. These are budgeting and policy ideas covering a broad range of issues. The goal is to promote discussion and spark interest in how to increase revenue or reduce spending in New York City. For each budget option, IBO provides a summary of the existing circumstances and presents the idea for change, a basic estimate of savings or revenue potential, and presents key arguments for and against such a change.

In this volume IBO also provides brief notes regarding potential legislative, regulatory or legal changes that could be required to implement the policy outlined. These references are for general guidance purposes only; they represent a potential starting point for further research and inquiry, not a thorough review of the feasibility or implementation requirements of the ideas or legal advice.  

The budget options here are expansive but by no way exhaustive. IBO welcomes your participation. If you have comments about the options presented or suggestions for new ones, send an email or tweet.

This volume is organized by a variety of topic areas summarized in the table below. A single budget option can be found in more than one topic area where appropriate.

-Topic Area -Examples of sub-topics
-City Workforce and
-Headcount, vacancies, and payroll for City employees;
-pensions and benefits for employees and retirees
-Community &
-Social Services
-Homeless services, cash assistance, childcare and family
-services, juvenile justice, foster care, older adult
-programming, arts and culture, elections
-Economy and
-Economic and workforce development, job growth, wages,
-industry sector analysis
-Education -3-K through 12th grade, higher education, after school
-programs, school construction
-Environment -Parks, extreme weather, waste collection programs
-Health -Public and behavioral health, health insurance, hospitals
-Housing and Buildings -Affordable and supportive housing, zoning, real estate sales,
-building construction, sidewalk sheds, inspections
-Infrastructure -Roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, public
-transportation, utilities
-Public Safety -Police, fire, jails, criminal courts, District Attorney offices
-Taxes and Other Revenues -All types of taxes, plus fines, fees, surcharges

Below is an abbreviated table of contents. Each of the topic areas links to a set of budget options.

Select an Option Group

Scroll to a group and click the "Go" button under the menu.

Previous editions of Budget Options for New York City are available here.