*Reposted from Gotham Gazette, Written by Samar Khurshid*

New York City’s budget for the 2022 fiscal year, which began July 1, has increased to a record $102.8 billion, a $4.1 billion uptick since it was first adopted, according to the latest financial update released by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday. The increase in spending, driven by federal relief and stimulus aid, was accompanied by new savings in agency spending, reduced debt and pension costs, and lower projected budget gaps for the future than previously anticipated.

It is the final budget documentation of de Blasio’s nearly eight-year tenure as he prepares to leave office at the end of the month and turn city government over to Mayor-elect Eric Adams, a fellow Brooklyn Democrat who will then be responsible for the city’s finances.

“This budget is an investment in working families and our recovery,” de Blasio said in a statement. “The November Plan recognizes crucial help from the federal government which has allowed New York City to rebound strong and invest in our future, from fighting COVID-19 to climate change.”

Having lowered the projected budget gaps and somewhat rebuilding reserves that were nearly depleted during last year’s pandemic-caused recession, de Blasio said he is “leaving the next administration with a strong foundation to continue New York City’s recovery.”

The financial update recognized $895 million in additional revenue since the budget was adopted, including $750 million in FEMA aid. It also found $262 million in savings for expense costs, reduced pension costs by $104 million, and cut debt service (paid for borrowing of funds for infrastructure projects) by $238 million. The revenue and savings together helped the city offset $534 million in new agency spending and left a surplus of $965 million that was used to reduce the budget gap for the next fiscal year.

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