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Why brokering the New York City budget is like an endless trip to Ikea

Alex and Mike hash out their finances, City Hall–style

The annual budget dance between the mayor and City Council begins today at 1 p.m., when the mayor releases his preliminary budget at City Hall. Between now and June, the mayor and City Council will tussle over their priorities for the $200 to $300 million available out of the $66 billion total in annual city spending. Here’s how the budget pas-de-deux usually goes:

Step 1: The Mayor proposes a budget, typically including cuts he knows the Council will never approve.

Step 2: From February through June the council protests the mayor’s proposals while offering alternatives and drawing lines in the sand.

Step 3: In June the mayor and council strike a deal. They restore some cuts and councilmembers can return to constituents able to claim they saved cherished line items.

Step 4: Repeat the following year.

As The New York World’s Alex Hotz and Michael Keller explain in the video above, the art of brokering a multibillion New York City budget should be familiar to anyone who has ever lived with roommates.

Don’t miss Alex’s preview of what to expect in the mayor’s budget this year.

 

 

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