Saturday, January 31, 2009

What Bloomberg's Plans May Mean for the Arts

According to Norma Munn, chairperson of the New York City Arts Coalition, the bad news that Mayor Bloomberg unveiled yesterday vis a vis the city budget will certainly mean some pain for the arts, but perhaps, she says, not as much pain as we might have thought.

As per Norma:

Here is the preliminary budget from the Mayor for the upcoming budget year starting July 1, 2009 for the Department of Cultural Affairs. Please keep in mind that this is stage one; the Council will hold hearings starting in a couple of weeks. After their response, the Mayor will propose the Executive Budget in late April, and another round of hearings will take place, along with ongoing negotiations between the Council and the Mayor before a final budget passed in late June.

FY09: $153,050,000
FY10: $132,453,000 (proposed)

That is a decrease of over $20 million. There are no details provided within these larger numbers as to how this breaks down between CIGs and Program groups.

FY09: $823 million
FY10: $140 million (proposed)

Comparisons of current and proposed on Capital are not a good way to realistically evaluate what the City is doing. More important is a comparison with what is spent versus what is planned. From 2005 through 2008, the actual capital money spent ranged from a low of $102 million to a high of $212 million, so a projection of $140 million, while low, is not as drastic as the above numbers would seem to indicate.

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