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Bloomberg Aims To Close $2 Billion Budget Gap

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg is laying out his budget plan for the city Thursday, and he'll call for bridging a projected $2 billion budget gap without raising taxes. NY1’s Grace Rauh filed the following report.

New Yorkers counting their pennies may be heartened by the news coming out of City Hall: Mayor Michael Bloomberg will not rely on any tax hikes to close the city's budget gap.

Details of the plan will be presented by the mayor himself on Thursday.

Last year, he proposed eliminating thousands of teaching jobs, shuttering fire companies, and slashing child care slots, but earlier this year, he said he did not think his budget message would be nearly so grim. He did, however, warn that no one would be immune to cutbacks.

“At this point we’re not talking about any individual areas of layoffs or anything else. We’ll have to see how each agency finds a ways to do more with less. There are no sacred cows,” said Bloomberg.

But the city's fiscal outlook could change for the worse. Governor Andrew Cuomo is threatening to withhold money currently slated to go to the city if a new teacher evaluation system is not put in place in the next year. Education officials and teachers unions have not been able to agree on the specifics.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said she hopes the mayor's budget does not include cuts to important city services.

“I certainly hope we don't see the proposal of teacher layoffs again, which I don't think we will. I'd be very happy if we didn't have to battle firehouse closures. I don't know about that,” said Quinn.

There is already some concern about the fact that tax increases are not part of the mayor's proposal.

“I want to wait and see actually what comes out tomorrow, but it's going to be hard for me to be supportive of anything that doesn't have revenue raising options as well as other options,” said City Councilman Jumaane Williams.

The mayor's presentation officially kicks off budget negotiations with the City Council.

A final budget deal is due by the end of June.

NY1 will be taking the mayor's budget address live at 1 p.m. Thursday.

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