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Chicago Indymedia

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NYC Preparing for $500M in Cuts

By Associated Press

March 12, 2002, 1:31 AM EST

NEW YORK -- Already faced with a spate of budget cuts, New York City is preparing for another round of belt-tightening to plug a massive shortfall.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office asked city agencies to prepare for up to $500 million in additional budget cuts as New York confronts a bleaker-than-expected financial picture.

A preliminary budget plan from Bloomberg last month had ordered agencies to cut spending between 7 percent and 26 percent. Additional cuts of up 7.5 percent were ordered Monday.

Bloomberg's initial proposal was designed to plug a projected budget deficit of $4.7 billion. But the Independent Budget Office released a report Monday saying that even if each element of his proposed budget is approved, the city would still face a $397 million shortfall.

Much of the city's financial problem, according to the IBO report, can be traced to increased spending during the administration of former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The report cited police overtime, public assistance, schools and Medicaid as areas of budget overruns.

It also said the recession and the Sept. 11 attack exacerbated the problems.



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