Bloomberg: Council is Wrong About Surplus

Mayor Bloomberg just delivered his $59 billion budget presentation, in which, as expected, he announced a $4.4 billion budget surplus but warned that out-year budgets of greater than $10 billion are on the horizon.

Democrats on the City Council have contended that city’s surplus is closer to $5 billion, which would free up more money the city could spend on tax breaks and other initiatives.

“The bottom line is they’re wrong,” Bloomberg told reporters in City Hall.

While the economy is going in the right direction, Bloomberg said, “the $10 billion is real. You got to write checks and pay people, including their salaries.”

Later, Bloomberg added, “As soon as Mr. Weprin comes up with $10 billion, I think it’s prudent that we talk about that. You know, it’s very easy–everybody likes to go out and say ‘I want to cut taxes, I want to give you something, I want to build something for you.’ The trouble is, somebody has to pay.

Bloomberg’s $59 billion budget does not include money for things like a renters’ rebate, which Council Speaker Christine Quinn is advocating, but it does fund another one of her initiatives for health care facilities in under-served communities.

In terms of his plan to reduce vehicular traffic, which includes congestion pricing, Bloomberg said, “If you’re a trucking company, this is one of the best things that’s ever happened to you.”