As New York City faces a $9 billion loss of revenue because of the coronavirus pandemic,
Mayor Bill de Blasio is placing some hope of closing that budget gap with the state lawmakers by requesting they grant the city the power to borrow money.
New York state lawmakers gave little support to New York City’s plans to borrow up to $7 billion to fill revenue gaps in early July, so de Blasio downgraded his request by 2 billion.
He also agreed to do an evaluation of the state-run Financial Control Board before borrowing the money as well as limited borrowing authority for the next two years.
In a press conference in late July, Governor Andrew Cuomo was not keen on the idea, commenting that, “Borrowing is easy, paying back is hard,” referencing the New York City fiscal crisis of the 1970’s.
KCP put the issue of if the city should be allowed to borrow this money and if so, under what conditions to the two candidates – Brandon Patterson (D), and Michael Tannousis (R) – running in the upcoming 64th Assembly District covering Bay Ridge and Staten Island.
The following is their responses:
Brandon Patterson: “We cannot allow our city to lay off a single worker from our civil service and union workforce. The city is not requesting money from the state, it is requesting money from the bond market, and in dire times like this, it is necessary. Our workers need the city to exhaust all options to prevent them from layoffs that would be devastating to our communities. I’ll fight so that responsible funding is secured to make that happen.”
Michael Tannousis: “No. Given the Mayor’s record of incompetent spending and mismanagement, the last thing we need is to give Bill de Blasio a credit card to dig us into a bigger financial hole. In the 1970s, the City of New York borrowed funds from the State to pay for basic operating expenses. It brought New York to disrepair and to the brink of bankruptcy. In this case, Mayor de Blasio doesn’t even have a sound fiscal plan in place.