Bloomberg Sharpens Budget Axe; Calls For $1.75 Billion In Cuts

NY 1 - November 17, 2009

As part of an ongoing effort to deal with next year's expected nearly $5 billion deficit, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has directed agencies across the city to cut millions from their budgets. Budget Director Mark Page sent a letter to agency heads Monday calling for a savings of $1.75 billion over the next two budget cycles.

Most agencies will be required to slash four percent over the fiscal year beginning in July 2010, and eight percent for the year after that.

Fire and Police Departments will have to cut two percent next year and four percent the year after.

As for the education department, it must reduce its costs by $1.5 and then four percent in 2011.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn says it's even more important to trim the fat and make smart decisions as the State budget crisis continues in Albany.

"We don't know yet what the impact of the state's actions will be on us so we need to really be looking to see where there are cuts that can be made that won't impact services," Quinn said.

Budget officials are asking for agency heads to send in their proposals by the start of December.