New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced that his entire office — including himself — will be furloughed for a week to help alleviate the city’s multibillion-dollar deficit.
The city faces a $9 billion budget deficit, caused in part by the Democratic mayor’s decision to shut down the city over the coronavirus pandemic. New York City lost $336 billion in the fiscal year ending June 30, according to an August report, and wealthy New Yorkers are streaming out of the city.
But the mayor’s weeklong furlough won’t fill the budge gap. With a mayoral salary of $258,541 per year, de Blasio is estimated to lose $4,972. He’ll still get the other $253,569, of course.
De Blasio — who oversees one of the richest cities in the U.S. — blamed the federal government for the city’s woes.
“I couldn’t have imagined no action by Washington, D.C., up until this point,” de Blasio said. “I thought it would be an article of faith that there would be a federal stimulus, but there hasn’t been, and I see no indication that there will be for the remainder of this year.”
“We’ve already had to make some tough cuts that have affected this city and the services we provide. We’re tried everything we can to stop from those cuts becoming worse. We don’t want to take away jobs from public employees, we don’t want to take away services from communities that need [them],” de Blasio said.
“As of October 1st, every, every Mayor’s Office employee will be taking a furlough,” de Blasio said Wednesday. “That obviously includes myself.”
“This is a step you never want to see for good, hard-working people,” he said. “The folks who work here throughout this crisis, they have not been working 35 or 40 hour weeks. They have been working 80 hour weeks, 90 hour weeks, 100 hour weeks.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, in July urged New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to enact a wealth tax on billionaires in the state, but the governor in August rejected the picture, saying the city is “trying to get people to come back.”
New York City’s top 1% pays 50% of taxes in New York, the governor noted.