As New York’s coffers rebound from a devastating year, how dependent is the city on federal funds?

City has come a long way from its precarious position in late 2020, when budget deficits heralded a “nightmare scenario,” the likes of which had not been seen since the 1970s, and the growing number of COVID cases -19 put into reopening Since then, the city has received nearly $ 6 billion in direct aid from the last federal stimulus package in March, $ 12 billion for city schools, federal aid with the vaccine launch, and a Variety of Stimulus Funds Coming Part of the New York State Deal. Meanwhile, the federal government injected a $ 6.5 million lifeline into the state Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which manages the city’s metro and bus systems.

The city is also no longer aware of pandemic-related expenses that would normally be covered by FEMA and the federal government, but that were not under the Trump administration. “The most important fact is that all costs reimbursable by FEMA will now be 100% reimbursed,” New York City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, who sits on the Council’s Finance Committee and represents the City Council, told MarketWatch. Upper West Side. Under the Trump administration, only 75% of costs were reimbursed, “so last time the budget was cut by $ 1 billion or $ 2 billion because we had to assume that FEMA wouldn’t do it all,” he said. Rosenthal. After years of struggles with the Trump administration’s efforts to withhold federal funds from the city, the current political climate in Washington, DC, represents a dramatic change for New York’s fortunes at the federal level, with Democrats now controlling all three. branches of government. government, and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York in a position of power as Senate Majority Leader. By contrast, in April 2020, at the height of New York City’s COVID-19 crisis, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested that states struggling with the financial burdens of the pandemic they should consider bankruptcy instead of seeking federal help. “The prospect of New York City is best seen with the new incarnation of Washington in the White House and on Capitol Hill,” said New York State Senator John C. Liu, a Democrat who is the chairman of the Committee. of Education of the City of New York and represents Northeast Queens. “New York City will not necessarily receive special favors, but Democratic control of both houses and the White House bodes well for urban areas across the country on issues ranging from transportation to housing, and in the way New York will benefit. ” While a newly approved $ 212 billion New York state budget includes plans to increase revenue through tax increases on online sports betting and for the wealthy, and is designed to help jumpstart the state’s economy. and the city through elements like distressed tenant relief and small business tax credits, the long-term recovery process is likely to be slow. (Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office did not respond to requests for comment.) “It‘s going to be two painful years. The irony is that although [finance and tech] businesses are doing well, the people who supported those workers are starving, “said Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban policy at NYU and director of the Rudin Center for Transportation. “I used to have 100 people [in the lobby of office buildings] delivering meals to merchants. “More than 20,000 New Yorkers filed for unemployment the week of March 27, a 283% increase over the same time in 2019, according to Investopedia’s New York City Recovery Index. Passing the stimulus bill in March, Mayor Bill de Blasio released a budget for 2022 based on a projected budget gap of $ 5.25 billion. “The loss of jobs is serious because we don’t know how quickly they will recover. Broadway theaters, if people will go back to work three, four or five days a week, “Moss continued.” For the MTA, it will take a couple of years to rebuild the number of passengers. The MTA needs enough [funding] to overcome the decline in passenger numbers and now, and they have to focus on rebuilding passenger numbers. ”In total, the MTA has already received $ 14.5 billion in federal aid since the start of the pandemic, but needs significantly more to avoid major cuts. President Biden‘s upcoming infrastructure legislation, the American Jobs Act, currently includes an allocation of $ 85 billion for existing transit, and MTA officials hope a portion of that will help fund the program. of $ 51 billion capital 2020-24, Crain reports. “The MTA will need another $ 8 billion by the end of 2021 to avoid the total dismantling of the system,” Liu said. million for the MTA in the [most recent] stimulus package, the MTA was able to postpone some really horrendous cuts. I can say with certainty that [additional funding] it’s much more likely now than it was a few months ago. “See also: Biden says his $ 2.3 trillion infrastructure plan will create 19 million jobs; most would not require a college degree. Overall, financial recovery is likely in The city’s course depends on some continued degree of federal aid, and politicians and analysts have expressed concern about how one-time aid inflows are being incorporated into longer-term financial plans. In response to the latest state budget, the The nonprofit fiscal watchdog group, the Citizen Budget Commission, issued a statement that read: “The budget is growing significantly and rapidly, temporarily inflated by a one-time federal relief, and lacks the systemic improvements needed to make recurring spending. sustainable and maximize New York’s competitiveness. ” Mayor de Blasio’s office did not provide comment for this story, but at a press conference Wednesday, de Blasio called the budget “the best state budget we’ve seen for New York City” and “a budget that puts workers first, ”Particularly citing additional funds earmarked for the city’s public schools. Regarding how the stimulus and potential aid to infrastructure is allocated, Liu said,“ Federal funds should be used to supplement an ongoing effort in the funding from the city and the state, not supplanting what would normally be funded by the city and the state. ”Ana Champeny, director of city studies for the Citizen Budget Commission, told MarketWatch that the strategic use of funds from Existing stimulus “can take you a long way toward fiscal stability.” “Make other decisions in which to dedicate those resources to new programs or increase gas To which then it will have to cut back, or establish programs for which it does not have a recurring flow of financing, is not the right thing to do, “he said. With federal funds pouring in in one-off bursts (and often preceded by weeks or months of contentious negotiations in Washington), and the nature of New York’s recovery still in flux, much about the city’s financial future, and what it needs and can expect Democratic Leadership in Washington, remains to be seen. “You have a lot of money for the city, the state, the education system” from the latest stimulus, Champeny said. “There is no rush to do something else. I think [the city’s government] you need to use it, plan, watch the recovery, and then find out if there are longer-term structural changes for the city and what that means. “Also read: Who will be the last New Yorker to die of COVID-19? Short-term, great Some of the city’s recovery may hinge on the rate at which COVID-19 is brought under control and a critical mass of the vaccinated population. (The state opened eligibility this week to all New Yorkers ages 16 and older, and now more than 4.6 million doses have been administered in the city, de Blasio said Thursday.) “The most important thing the city and the mayor can do What we do is make the city’s public health system work and everyone get vaccinated, “Moss said.” If we can make the city safe, people will come to New York because it’s an experience you can’t get anywhere else. This is still the most productive place to do business and long term, New York will be very strong “.