No New Taxes Needed – MTA $$ Available in City Budget. Problem Highlights de Blasio’s Asleep at the Wheel Style of Management.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the Republican nominee and clear alternative to Bill de Blasio in the race for mayor, held a noontime news conference opposite the David Dinkins Municipal Building to speak about the hiring practices of the de Blasio administration and its effect on the fiscal well being of the city. Malliotakis called the out of control hiring, “a disturbing and expensive trend that has created a municipal workforce in New York City that is larger than the entire population of St. Louis, Missouri.”
The municipal workforce is projected to be over 328,400 employees in fiscal year 2018, an increase of 31,051 and the highest number of employees in the history of New York City. This is an increase from 297,349 in 2014. Only 3,625 of the employees added have been essential uniformed workers.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said, “Over the course of Bill de Blasio’s first term in office we’ve seen a huge spike in the number of employees in the New York City municipal workforce. He’s swelled the ranks and added tremendous bureaucracy, a disturbing and expensive trend that has created a municipal workforce in New York City that is larger than the entire population of the City of St. Louis, Missouri.
“This hiring increase has cost the taxpayers roughly $4 billions more a year. Though, if you ask the average New Yorker, they’ll tell you they haven’t seen much in return. New York has seen a homeless crisis worsen, quality of life deteriorate and its transit system crumble.”
“Somehow, the Bloomberg administration managed to get by with 109 ‘Special Assistants.’ Under Bill de Blasio that number sky-rocketed to 264. He has also increased City Hall staff from 569 to 656. That’s just one small part of an unprecedented hiring binge that by next year is estimated to cost $6.8 billion from the city’s budget according to the Citizens Budget Commission.
“It’s also indicative of Mayor de Blasio’s asleep at the wheel style of management, which ignores the need for proper prudent reserves so that emergency funds would be available as needs arise.
“Mayor de Blasio’s call for a new tax to fund subway repairs is ill conceived and unneeded. The fact of the matter is, the roughly $800 million that the new tax would generate annually, could have been found in the present and future budgets simply by having Bill de Blasio’s City Hall exercise some fiscal restraint. On top of that Mayor de Blasio is sitting on a budget surplus of $4.2 billion, a portion of which could have easily been earmarked for the repairs.
“Mayor de Blasio’s tin ear has been on full display during the process. He can’t seem to grasp what MTA Chairman Joe Lhota has said; he needs the money for repairs now, not in a year from now when revenues generated by Bill de Blasio’s proposed new tax might start trickling in.
“As mayor, I would immediately introduce a hiring freeze as well as implementing a minimum 10% reduction in City Hall staff, a move that according to my projections would free up enough funds to meet NYC’s commitment to the MTA.
These subway repairs can’t wait. New Yorkers are suffering and Bill de Blasio’s knee-jerk plan of a new tax that may or may not get adopted in Albany next year is not an option. What’s needed is a new mayor who understands the way budgets works and who has the fortitude to control and prioritize spending.”