NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams spoke more Sunday about budget cuts on the horizon for New York City, pointing to the cost of the deepening asylum seeker crisis as the reason.
The mayor says these cuts could be avoided if the state and federal government step in with much-needed aid for the city. If not, city agencies could be forced to slash up to 15% from their budgets by the spring.
Since the start of the asylum seeker crisis, Adams has been warning of cuts, and now he’s asking every city agency to come up with a plan.
he directed all departments to cut 5% in spending by November with an additional 10% possible early next year.
“For the better part of a year now, I have been clear that these costs will impact every city service … The simple truth is longtime New Yorkers and asylum seekers will feel these potential cuts, and they will hurt,” Adams said.
The city continues to receive about 10,000 asylum seekers each month. So far, about 110,000 have arrived.
This comes at a time when revenue growth is slowing and COVID funding is ending.
Adams says if circumstances don’t change, the city estimates the influx of asylum seekers will cost $12 billion over three fiscal years.
“Twelve billion dollars of running our city — sanitation, police, education, libraries, everything that we have to run the city. there’s a minimum amount of money that comes in that we have to address this crisis that’s a national crisis, and we’ve been ignored,” Adams said.
He pointed to what he calls “inaction” by Albany and Washington.
Gov. Kathy Hochul had this to say about the ongoing financial crisis Thursday: “It is a challenge for all of us, but we have to focus not on the politics of this but focus on doing what’s right. And the answer falls with Washington, with resources … all the issues that were on my agenda when I went to the White House last weekend.”
Adams said the administration will seek to minimize disruption to programs and services, and there will not be layoffs. The city council speaker and finance chair echoed the mayor’s plea for support.