Updated 08/20/2012 11:03 PM
Mayor: City Budget Hole From Stalled Taxi Program Could Result In Layoffs
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday the city is facing a $635 million deficit because of a state judge's ruling blocking a plan to extend taxi service in the five boroughs, and that city agencies are facing potential cuts. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to expand taxi service to all five boroughs would not just have been a boon for riders. It also would have put an extra $1.4 billion in the city's coffers.
The money would have come from the sale of 2,000 taxi medallions, but that source dried up after a state judge's decision on Friday blocked the taxi plan.
"What it means is, since we really don't have the opportunity to raise taxes, it means cutting expenses and we will continue to do that," said the mayor.
The decision blows a $635 million hole in this year's $68.5 billion budget.
The city planned to collect another $365 million the following year from the medallion sales and another $460 million in fiscal year 2015.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and City Comptroller John Liu have both said it was risky for the city to bank on that money since it was tied up in a court case. The mayor, though, remained publicly confident that the city would prevail in court.
The city did not prevail. The judge found the city at fault because it did not get approval from the City Council to expand taxi service. Albany lawmakers signed off on the deal instead.
"We still think that we will win on appeal, but it's going to be a real challenge," said Bloomberg.
The city was already facing a $2.5 billion dollar budget deficit for next fiscal year.
As for the possibility of layoffs, the mayor said he had no idea at this point Monday. But he noted that if the city has less money, it will not be able to employ as many people, so it appears that some jobs will be lost, either through attrition or layoffs.
"Attrition doesn't work very well in a slow economy. You got any other questions?" said Bloomberg.