The Independent Budget Office has run their own numbers and has issued a report that shows that the city’s budget outlook is not as dire as Mayor Bloomberg would have us believe.
“Based on IBO’s tax and spending projections under the Bloomberg Administration’s November 2011 Financial Plan, we estimate a budget shortfall of $1.2 billion in 2013, nearly $800 million less than the Mayor,” the authors of the report state. “For 2014, our gap projection is $2.2 billion, $1.7 billion less than the Mayor’s; for 2015 our gap estimate is $1.9 billion, nearly $3 billion below the Mayor’s. ”
The report also states that they expect job growth to outpace the predictions of Mayor Bloomberg, as they forecast 89,000 new jobs in the city over the next two years, 27,000 more than the mayor’s own report foresees.
The city’s budget condition is set to become a major political football over the next several months as the mayor orders another round of cuts to city agencies.
The report notes that there remain several factors afoot that could contribute to a steep downturn in their projections, including the failure of the Eurozone, declining aid from Washington or Albany, or overly-generous settlements with the city’s labor unions.