UPDATE 1-NYC may lay off 19,000 workers if state cuts aid

Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:05pm EST

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By Joan Gralla

NEW YORK Jan 25 (Reuters) - New York City will have to lay off more than 10,000 public workers, in addition to 8,500 teachers, if the state legislature approves the $1.3 billion of cuts the governor proposed in his deficit-closing budget, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday.

The mayor, in a speech to the legislature, estimated 3,150 police officers would be cut, reducing the force's "operational strength" to 1985 levels.

About 1,050 firefighters would have to be let go, along with 900 correctional officers, and the city would have to cut its daily inmate population by 1,900, he said. The number of at-risk children that service workers monitor would fall to 2,700 from 9,000, Bloomberg said.

The mayor, an independent, said Governor David Paterson's budget "utterly fails the test of fairness." He told lawmakers: "You can't lose control of the streets in terms of safety or cleanliness. You can't lose control of the streets in terms of an ambulance or a firefighter showing up."

Both the economies of New York City and the state depend on Wall Street for much of their tax revenues, and big banks' brush with near-death last year has severely dented public budgets.

Bloomberg is scheduled on Thursday to unveil his own budget plan aimed at closing a municipal deficit of at least a $3 billion. He declined to say how much he would raise revenue estimates for a number of banks and brokerages that have swiftly resumed earning handsome profits.

"It is substantial, but I think here in Albany you have to be careful and not think that you will get the benefit of that," Bloomberg told legislators, noting that the city and state have different tax regimes.

"There's not an expectation that the city's tax revenues will get back to where they were, say, in 2007, very quickly," Bloomberg said. However, he noted that positive economic signs include a rise in tourism-related employment to a record.

Bloomberg, a former Wall Street trader whose news and data company made him a billionaire, said the federal and state governments should avoid tax hikes and financial regulations that could drive banks and brokers overseas.

"We cannot raise taxes anymore; at this point raising income or property taxes will drive more people out of the state than the revenue they bring in," he said. (Reporting by Joan Gralla; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Dan Grebler)

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Comments (3)
As a New York State resident I believe this may be the answer. Cuts hurt but they are inevitable if we are to ever get this country back on track. Cutting spending in Albany would be an even better start, but not holding my breath over that one.

Jan 25, 2010 12:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
matt2sacs wrote:
And the cycle continues…more people skimp on paying taxes and the state/city just raises them for everyone else…and the next year more people join the first group since they can’t keep up. Until they start to seriously crack down on illegal labor and tax evasion in NYC, these conditions will continue to decline and force people to be driven out of the state. I left a while ago and never looked back – best move I ever did!

Jan 25, 2010 1:22pm EST  --  Report as abuse
twospirits wrote:
I find it amazing how many would jump on the bang-wagon of agreeing to the notion that laying off so many city workers (in this case 19,000) is the solution to our fiscal problems. Whats even more amazing is usually these same folks are the ones complaining when there aren’t enough cops on the street, the garbage starts to pile up, police and fire take longer to get to their destinations, city hospitals can’t take care of the sick because the workforce. All because the workforce was reduced to bare-bones. Alot of the current workers are doing double the work since many have retired, and no lines are being filed up. A city this big does need a big workforce to keep it neat, clean, safe, and educated.

Jan 25, 2010 1:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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