A new study suggests that the city is going to need to raise $400 million in new funding to keep the lights on for at least a few more years, but the money’s coming from nowhere.
The city’s infrastructure and capital budget for 2017-2022 is $9.4 billion, according to the city’s 2018-2023 report.
The majority of the money comes from the state’s Community Reinvestment Act, which requires the city to borrow money from the federal government at low interest rates to pay for its essential services.
The new report, which was released on Wednesday by the nonprofit New York Communities for Change, notes that the state and federal government has yet to give New York more money to help pay for the lights.
“The state and feds are still trying to figure out how to raise that money,” said David Kornfeld, a senior fellow at New York Cities for Justice, a coalition of New York-based nonprofit organizations that has been working to stop the city from turning into a dark city.
“It’s going to take some time, but it’s going the right way.”
The report also found that the federal and state governments have made it clear that they intend to continue funding New York’s transit system, but that it’s unclear how long that will be.
“While there are some good pieces of legislation coming through the House and Senate, they don’t appear to have much impact on the status quo,” said Kornfield.
“We can’t count on that.”
The $400-million shortfall is largely attributable to the state funding formula, which the city uses to determine how much funding to give to specific areas, like schools and transportation infrastructure.
The formula does not account for the costs of construction or other capital projects.
“As a city, we have no idea what we’re actually spending,” said Richard Carranza, a former commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation.
“How much of our $400M in annual funding will be used for these projects is unknown, and it could be a lot more.”
Kornstein said he and his fellow advocates for community reinvestment are calling on the New Yorkers who control the state legislature to pass a law that requires a 10 percent increase in the state DOT funding every year.
“There’s no question that the money will be needed,” he said.
“But how to get there is the big question.
And we’re working on the right solution.”
The group has been pushing for legislation for a year, but lawmakers haven’t budged on the issue.
The state’s 2018 budget plan proposed raising $4.6 billion for infrastructure and transit projects, but only if the city could find a way to use that money to pay off some of the $9 billion in bonds it has to issue.
In January, the city received $8.2 billion in federal stimulus funds that will now be used to cover the shortfall in its capital budget.
The 2018-2019 budget also included $1.9 billion for the state to help the city pay off its bond debt.
The group’s executive director, Rachel Raskin, said that $400 milion is “not too shabby” for New York to borrow.
“If they can do this in the first year, that’s a pretty good start,” she said.
The report’s findings come as New York braces for a massive storm on Wednesday, the worst storm to hit the city since the 1921 flood.
The National Weather Service predicts a “very significant” storm with winds up to 140 mph, with storm surges that could reach 6 feet.
The storm is expected to hit in the afternoon.
“A storm that would be catastrophic is not something we can afford,” said James L. Foust, an expert on New York politics at the University of New Hampshire.
“I’d like to see some kind of relief, but we’re going to have to keep doing everything we can.”