Bloomberg announces drastic budget cuts

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed across-the-board cuts Wednesday in an effort to close a $4 billion budget deficit that has been exacerbated by the current economic crisis.

During a news conference at City Hall, Bloomberg announced that the city's workforce will by reduced by some 3,000 jobs in all departments, including parks, education and social services. The Department of Health will also close its 40 dental health clinics that primarily serve children from low-income families.

The mayor emphasized, however, that 80 percent of the job losses will be through attrition, or a policy of not hiring a replacement for retiring or departing employees.

?Every city agency must push each dollar further,? Bloomberg said. ?Doing that involved making hard choices which will not be popular with everyone, or anyone, but they are the right ones to see us through these very difficult times.?

Bloomberg also said that the 7 percent property tax breaks are likely to be canceled, together with the $400 property tax rebate, in an effort to reduce the deficit and offset shrinking revenues.

To reduce city spending, Bloomberg also announced that the January 2009 police academy class will be canceled, and engine companies in five fire houses across the city will be eliminated.

For more on Mayor Bloomberg?s budget cut announcement, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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