New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Furloughs Himself Amid The COVID Crisis

The mayor of New York City will lay himself off. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that all mayor’s office staff, including himself, soon will take five-day furloughs.

It’s largely a symbolic gesture amid the city’s looming budget crunch — and potential 22,000 layoffs — and doesn’t mean the city will go mayor-less. De Blasio said it will show “everything is on the table” as the city looks to address the shortfall.

“It is with pain I say that they and their families will lose a week’s pay, but it’s something we have to do,” de Blasio said.

The city lost about $9 billion in revenue amid the coronavirus crisis, leaving officials scrambling to balance the budget.

De Blasio has repeatedly warned of potential layoffs starting October 1, 2020, if either a federal stimulus or state permission for the city to borrow long term do not materialize.

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Federal stimulus appears unlikely and city and union officials are pressing state lawmakers on borrowing, de Blasio said. He also said a property tax increase to balance the budget is flatly “off the table.”

“I just won’t do a property tax increase,” he said Wednesday.

The furloughs will run from October to March. De Blasio said they’ll save about $1 million, or a 12 percent shave off his office’s budget.

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