*Reposted from Gotham Gazette. Written by Samar Khurshid. (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)

The New York City Council on Wednesday kicked off the process of examining Mayor Eric Adams’ $98.5 billion preliminary budget proposal for the 2023 fiscal year, which begins July 1. It was the first of many hearings that will take place over the next several weeks as the Council digs into the first spending plan of Adams’ four-year term.

Last month, Adams proposed a somewhat cautious budget while stressing “fiscal discipline.” It reduced spending by about $4.3 billion compared to the last budget modification under his predecessor. The decrease is largely because of changing amounts of federal aid and some pre-payments into the next fiscal year that helped drive down out-year budget gaps.

Adams inherited a solid fiscal situation given massive amounts of federal aid and stronger than expected tax revenues, virtually erasing pandemic-induced deficits and vulnerabilities; but also a city budget with plenty of fat to trim given its immense growth over the years.

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