How Much Has Snow Removal Cost the City in Recent Years?

February 7th, 2014


  • The amount the city budgets each year for snow removal is set by a formula in the City Charter. The formula is the average of spending on snow removal in the five prior years—so the budget for 2014 is based on the actual amounts spent in fiscal years 2008–2012.
  • In some years the formula provides more funding than is needed while in other years, such as 2011 when the city had an extraordinary amount of snow, the formula-driven budget fell $87 million short of need. The formula budgeted $13 million more in 2012 than the city needed for snow removal and $19 million more in 2013.
  • If there is unused funding in the snow budget, that money is reallocated or becomes part of the city’s end of year budget surplus. Conversely, if the budgeted amount is short of what is needed, funds are drawn from other parts of the city budget to cover the expense.


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How Close Is NYC to Meeting the Affordable Housing Goals Set by the Bloomberg Administration?

January 30th, 2014

  • Ninety-five percent, or 156,351, of the planned New Housing Marketplace units were completed or underway through the end of 2013.
  • In 2008, the plan was revised and extended through 2014. The revised plan put more emphasis on preserving existing affordable housing through repairs and refinancing, which is less costly than new construction.
  • Since most of the housing to be preserved was already occupied, fewer units were being made available to new households.
  • In housing preservation projects, affordability is often guaranteed for shorter periods than for newly built housing.

Under Revised Plan More Units Are for Low-Income Households

  • The emphasis on preservation resulted in funds being directed to more units affordable to low-income households, as defined by federal regulations, than under the original plan.

See this IBO report for more information on the New Housing Marketplace Plan.

Prepared by Elizabeth Brown
New York City Independent Budget Office

SOURCE: Department of Housing Preservation and Development
NOTES: All years are fiscal years. Units are recorded as starts when financing for a project is complete. Other includes units for superintendents, unrestricted units, and unknown. Area median income, based on a formula set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was $85,900 for a family of four in 2013.

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New York City Public Schools: Have Per Pupil Budgets Changed Since 2010-2011?

January 23rd, 2014

    • Overall, average per pupil budgets dipped slightly in school year 2011-2012 but have grown since then.
    • Average per pupil budgets rose more rapidly for high schools than for elementary and middle school schools both in absolute and percentage terms.
    • Elementary schools have the highest per pupil budgets on average.
    • In each of the years, about 60 percent of the per pupil allocation went to teacher salaries.

How Much Did the Change in Per Pupil Budgets Vary Among Schools Since 2010-2011?


  • About 23 percent of schools experienced an increase between $1 and $400 per pupil while about 19 percent of schools experienced a similar decline.
  • The majority of schools have not experienced an increase or decrease in budgets greater than $600 per pupil.
  • The largest changes in per pupil budgets are associated with unusually large changes in enrollment.

Prepared by Gretchen Johnson
New York City Independent Budget Office

SOURCE: IBO analysis of end of October Department of Education budget data.
NOTES: Both charts exclude budgets for schools not open in all years, schools phasing out or experiencing grade truncation during these years, as well as Districts 75 (special education) and 79 (alternative schools). Figures in top panel are weighted by projected enrollments.

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Did the Number of Municipal Employees Decrease Under the Bloomberg Administration?

January 7th, 2014

When Mayor Bloomberg presented his last budget plan in November, he noted that the city’s full-time and full-time equivalent headcount had fallen by 15,368 since December 31, 2001. But looking at staffing levels since the end of fiscal year 2002, which marks the beginning of Mayor Bloomberg’s first full-year budget, the numbers are somewhat different.
From June 30, 2002 through June 30, 2013, city staffing decreased by 9,028 positions and totaled 295,894 by the end of fiscal year 2013, a 3.0 percent decline.

  • For many agencies, there was little change in staffing from June 30, 2002.
  • Two areas of the budget accounted for the largest decrease in staffing, the education department and uniformed services.
  • The largest decrease—4,607 positions—occurred in uniformed services, including 1,986 police officers (a decline of 5.4 percent), 1,141 fire fighters (10.1 percent) and 1,645 correction officers (15.5 percent).
  • The education department saw a decrease of 4,496 positions (3.3 percent), of which 2,528 were teachers and professional staff.



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New York City Public Payphones: How Many Are Left?

October 31st, 2013



In January 2013 there were 11,249 working payphones in public locations citywide, a decline of almost
50 percent since 2008.

  • The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island have seen decreases of  about 60 percent.
  • The number of payphones has fallen 33 percent in Manhattan and 52 percent in Queens.


The city collects 10 percent of revenue from calls placed from payphones and 36 percent of revenue from advertisements on the payphones.


  • City revenue from calls has declined steadily since 2008.
  • City revenue from advertising has increased sharply since 2010.

SOURCE: Department of Information Technology and Telelcommunications

Prepared by Nashla Salas
New York City Independent Budget Office

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How Has the Recent Decline in the Number of Children in Foster Care Affected Costs?

October 8th, 2013


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NYC’s Jail Population: Who’s There and Why?

August 22nd, 2013

On an average day in fiscal year 2012,

  • 12,287 inmates in city jails
  • 57 percent are black, 33 percent Hispanic, 7 percent white, 1 percent Asian, and the rest other or unknown
  • 93 percent are male

The average annual cost per inmate in 2012 was $167,731



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Where Do NYC’s Teachers and Principals Live Compared With Where They Work?

August 15th, 2013


  • 67% of the 70,328 teachers live within the five boroughs
  • Teachers in Queens and the Bronx are the most likely to live outside the five boroughs
  • 81% of Staten Island teachers live in the same borough as they work, as do 57% of Brooklyn teachers


  • 66% of the 1,570 principals live within the five boroughs
  • Principals in the Bronx and Queens are the most likely to live outside the five boroughs
  • 69% of Staten Island principals live in the same borough as they work, as do 45% of Brooklyn principals



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Do Courtroom Delays in the Bronx Come at a Cost to the City?

July 24th, 2013

Suspects arrested on criminal charges who cannot make bail or are denied bail are detained in city jails while their cases are being decided. If the arrestee is convicted and sentenced to time in state prison, the period of time already spent in city jails is deducted from their sentence. Time spent in city jails comes at the city’s expense, time in state prison at the state’s expense. Therefore, the longer it takes to convict, the more it costs the city in detention spending that would otherwise be paid by the state.

The average time in city jails credited to inmates newly sentenced to state prisons from Bronx courtrooms grew to 15.7 months in 2012, about six months more than the average in the remainder of the city. If the average in the Bronx had been the same as that in the rest of the city, New York City would have saved about $14 million last year on jail expenditures.


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Will More Youth Get Jobs in the City’s Summer Jobs Program This Year Than in Recent Summers?

July 15th, 2013

The demand for summer youth jobs has always exceeded the number of jobs provided by the city, and over each of the past three summers more than 100,000 youth who applied for the program were turned away. Budget pressures at the state and city level have played a role, as well as increases in the minimum wage and programmatic changes. For 2013, some additional federal money along with new private funds has increased the number of slots available, which is likely to translate into an increase in enrollment.


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