New York City's FY 2022 budget gap grows to $5.25 billion

FILE PHOTO: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaks during a news conference, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Coney Island neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City, U.S., September 15, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) – A decline in property tax revenue related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has punched a bigger hole in the upcoming budget for New York City, which needs Democrats in control of the White House and the U.S. Congress to deliver major fiscal stimulus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday.

The gap in the nearly $92.3 billion preliminary budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1 grew to $5.25 billion from the city’s November financial plan projection of $3.75 billion.

The mayor called for a new and substantial round of stimulus to help offset the economic fallout from the pandemic and stave off the possibility of state funding cuts.

“This is absolutely crucial to get a strong stimulus from Washington – an actual stimulus, not just a survival package,” he said. “A stimulus with direct aid to New York City and all localities. That’s going to be the single number-one difference maker.”

President-elect Joe Biden is scheduled to unveil a $1.9 trillion plan later on Thursday.

New York City, once the nation’s epicenter of the pandemic, was hit last year with one-notch credit rating downgrades by Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, while S&P Global Ratings revised its rating outlook to negative from stable.

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