New York City Mayor Eric Adams today released New York City’s balanced $109.4 billion Preliminary Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2025. With near-record reserves despite significant fiscal challenges, the budget builds on the Adams’ administration proven track record of responsible fiscal management, while prioritizing the needs of working-class New Yorkers by restoring critical investments in public safety, public spaces, and young people.
Facing a historically high $7.1 billion budget gap due to the growing asylum seeker crisis, drying up federal CoViD-19 stimulus funding, expenses from labor contracts this administration inherited that went unresolved for years, and slowing tax revenue growth, the Adams administration took action early in the budget cycle with a citywide hiring freeze and Program to Eliminate the Gap (PEG) savings program. These actions helped balance the budget and stabilize the city’s financial position without layoffs, tax hikes, or major disruption to city services — and their success, along with better-than-expected revenue, ultimately allowed for the restorations of funding for public safety, quality of life, and young people.
“Our administration came into office focused on making New York City safer, more prosperous, and more livable. With two years of hard work, we are heading in the right direction: Jobs are up, crime is down, tourists are back, our children’s test scores are better, and we are delivering for working-class New Yorkers every day,” said Mayor Adams. “The growing asylum seeker crisis, CoViD-19 stimulus funding drying up, tax revenue growth slowing, and unsettled labor contracts that we inherited widened the FY25 budget gap to a record level. But, with responsible and effective management, we have been able to provide care for asylum seekers and balance the budget — without unduly burdening New Yorkers with a penny in tax hikes or massive service reductions, and without laying off a single city worker. We are not out of the woods — while we have put New York City on the right track, to keep moving forward, we still need help from the federal and state governments. But this carefully planned and disciplined budget allows us to keep helping working families, keep providing opportunity for all New Yorkers, and keep our city a beacon of hope, while we deliver a safer, cleaner, and fairer New York.”
Responsible Fiscal Management
New York City has continued to effectively manage the asylum seeker humanitarian crisis largely on its own without substantial federal or state aid — including getting on track to reduce city-funded spending on the crisis by 20 percent over FY24 and FY25, primarily by helping put migrants on a path to self-sufficiency and reducing the per-diem costs of providing care. To date, New York City has provided care for more than 170,700 asylum seekers, with over 68,000 currently still in the city’s care. The city has also connected school-aged children to public schools through Project Open Arms and provided case management, shelter, food, child care, and more services.
As a result of the administration’s policies — including providing 30 to 60 days of intensified case management — more than 60 percent of the asylum seekers who came through the city’s intake center have left the city’s care and taken the next steps in their journeys. Additionally, daily growth of the number of migrant households in the city’s care has slowed by nearly 60 percent since implementing these policies. Through the Asylum Application Help Center and satellite sites, the city has helped submit more than 27,000 work authorization, temporary protected status, and asylum applications — moving asylum seekers that much closer to being able to legally work and be self-sufficient.
Under the cost management efforts, per-diem care costs for migrant households will be reduced by implementing efficiencies in the service and staffing models at Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers (HERRCs), renegotiating rates and rebidding for services in shelters currently relying on for-profit vendors, and transitioning migrants from costlier HERRCs to facilities managed by a nonprofit service provider under the traditional shelter model.
With these measures, the city has reduced the costs associated with the migrant crisis from $12.25 billion to $10.6 billion from FY23 through FY25 — generating approximately $1.7 billion in gap-closing savings over FY24 and FY25.
In addition to reducing costs, the Adams administration is fighting back against Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the transportation companies he uses to transport migrants to New York City in bad faith to hurt NYC and overwhelm our social services system. Last month, Mayor Adams issued Executive Order 538 to protect the safety and well-being of asylum seekers and city employees by making it against the law to use charter buses to bring migrants to New York City without coordinating with city government. The city then sued 17 bus companies for transporting and abandoning more than 33,000 asylum seekers in New York City without paying for the ongoing costs of care for those people. The lawsuit seeks to recover approximately $708 million.
Including the $1.7 billion in asylum seeker-related savings, the PEG implemented by Mayor Adams in the Preliminary Budget achieved almost $3.1 billion in savings over FY24 and FY25, with every non-exempt agency meeting its target. Total PEG savings over FY24 and FY25 is a record nearly $6.6 billion since June 2023. The PEG minimized service reductions, with 99 percent of Preliminary Budget PEG initiatives being efficiencies or cost re-estimates that will not lead to service reductions. Additionally, the city did not lay off a single employee or raise taxes to balance the budget.
Projected tax revenues in the Preliminary Budget exceed those in the November 2023 Financial Plan tax by $1.3 billion in FY24 and $1.6 billion in FY25, due to better-than-anticipated economic performance in 2023. Tax revenue growth is expected to remain slow in upcoming fiscal years as the local economy cools — reinforcing that the city cannot rely solely on revenue growth to solve immediate fiscal challenges.
The Preliminary Budget includes a near-record level $8.2 billion in reserves — including $1.2 billion in the General Reserve, $4.8 billion in the Retiree Health Benefits Trust Fund, $250 million in the Capital Stabilization Reserve, and $1.96 billion in the Rainy-Day Fund. A combination of savings and FY23 revenue was applied to balance FY24. Outyear gaps are now $5.2 billion in FY26, $5.1 billion in FY27, and $6.0 billion in FY28.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD), Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), and New York City Sanitation Department (DSNY) were exempted from the Preliminary Budget PEG to avoid impacts to public safety and cleanliness.
After they met their PEG, Mayor Adams decided to exempt the city’s three library systems as well to prevent additional service reductions in the future. The New York City Department of Education (DOE), New York City Department of Social Services (DSS), New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), and New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) were partially exempted to minimize service disruptions.
Funding Public Safety
Funding is restored in the Preliminary Budget for the NYPD to add another police academy class of 600 new recruits set to join the ranks in April 2024. This class of recruits will graduate in October and will join the three additional police classes already scheduled to graduate this year. Funding will also be restored to return a fifth firefighter at 20 FDNY engine companies and maintain 190 firefighters on payroll who are not expected to be able to return to full-duty status. The funding restorations build on successful efforts by the Adams administration to drive down overall crime, with murders down 12 percent and shootings down 25 percent in 2023.
Funding Clean Public Spaces
The Preliminary Budget includes restored funding to maintain 23,000 DSNY litter baskets and allow DSNY to continue installing its Litter Basket of the Future — one of TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2023. Funding will also be restored for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation’s (NYC Parks) Parks Opportunity Program (POP), which gives thousands of low-income New Yorkers six-month paid opportunities and training programs each year. POP workers help maintain and operate New York City parks and facilities, and the training they receive through the program prepares them for full-time NYC Parks job opportunities.
The funding restorations build on successful efforts by the Adams administration to keep city streets and public spaces clean for all New Yorkers to enjoy — with efforts to containerize 100 percent of the city’s garbage, drastically reduce the time trash bags sit on city streets, and target hot spots for cleaning and rat mitigation within city parks during evening hours.
Funding Young People
In the Preliminary Budget, $10 million is restored to 170 DOE community schools, which partner with community-based organizations to provide holistic support to students and their families, including providing health care, additional learning opportunities, and social and emotional counseling. The budget also includes an $80 million investment to fund DOE’s portion of the Summer Rising program — the city’s summer enrichment program for elementary and middle school students, which is jointly funded with DYCD — replacing temporary and expiring federal CoViD-19 stimulus dollars used under the previous administration to make the program entirely city-funded for the first time.
The funding restorations build on the Adams administration’s historic investments in young people — including expanding both the Summer Youth Employment and Summer Rising programs to serve record numbers. The administration has also increased spending on young adult career success programming by 25 percent, as announced in “Pathways to an Inclusive Economy: An Action Plan for Young Adult Career Success” — a forward-thinking roadmap to build inclusive pathways for the city’s young people to discover their passion, receive hands-on career experience, and, ultimately, enter the workforce.