Independent Budget Office


sheep meadow, central park, social distancing parks

Photo of Sheep Meadow in Central Park on May 4, 2020 © 6sqft

Parks and public green space proved to be a lifeline for New Yorkers during the peak of the pandemic, for both their physical and mental wellbeings. But not all parks are created equal, as reports from the city’s Independent Budget Office and the Trust for Public Land found. In many low-income and minority neighborhoods, where cases and rates of death from COVID-19 were experienced disproportionately, residents lacked access to quality green space, especially when space like playgrounds and basketball courts, closed for nearly three months.

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nyc subway, subway, 34th street

Photo courtesy of Roman Kruglov on Flickr

The Independent Budget Office released yet another incriminating report this week about New York City’s subway system. Not only are the subway’s growing delays costing the city up to $389 million each year, but the IBO also found that delays end up setting back New Yorkers nearly $1.23 million every day in lost work time, totaling about $307 million every year. And now, the budget office on Wednesday released a report that breaks down the length of time passengers wait on a station platform for every subway line, except shuttles. According to the report, the average number of passenger hours lost to delays systemwide during the work week between 7am and 10am this year grew by 45 percent from 2012, up from 24,000 hours to 35,000 hours.

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Policy, Transportation

nyc subway, subway, 34th street

Photo courtesy of Roman Kruglov’s Flickr

New Yorkers employed by the city have missed 17,143 hours of work because of transit delays and malfunctions, according to the Daily News. A new analysis by the Independent Budget Office (IBO), shows that city workers are on track to miss nearly 26,000 hours of work for the entire year, an increase of almost 30 percent from previous years. The report found the incident that caused the most city workers to be late happened in January when city workers lost a total of 1,075 hours after water spilled onto the tracks at West 4th Street-Washington Square station.

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Architecture, Construction Update, hudson yards, Major Developments, Midtown West, New Developments, Urban Design

Hudson Yards, Midtown West, Visualhouse, Far West Side (7)

The opening of the first Hudson Yards tower dominated headlines Tuesday, but with this milestone also came a resurgence of criticism. As Crain’s reports, the Independent Budget Office has released a new study (pdf) highlighting that, to date, the city has spent nearly $359 million paying interest on $3 billion in bonds that were taken out to pay for infrastructure around Hudson Yards, including the expansion of the 7 train. The city had originally anticipated spending between just $7.4 and $205 million from start through 2016.

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hudson yards, Major Developments, Midtown West, Policy

NYC planned communities, Hudson Yards, Hudson Yards Master Plan, Kohn Pederson Fox

In November, 2014, we reported that the 26-acre Hudson Yards mega-development had cost the city nearly $650 million in subsidies, coming straight out of the pockets of taxpayers. We also noted that it wasn’t going to stop there; a review by the city’s Independent Budget Office said even more would be needed through 2019 to complete the “next great commercial district.” And now the new figures are in. According to DNAinfo, the city will shell out an additional $368 million through 2019, bringing their total payout for Hudson Yards to more than $947 million.

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Policy, real estate trends

7,279 NYC Homes Are Valued at More Than $5 Million

By Dana Schulz, Tue, February 3, 2015

Upper East Side

The Upper East Side, where the most $5 million + homes are located, via CityRealty

If you think that statistic is jaw-dropping, consider this, too–those 7,279 homes valued at more than $5 million amount to a total fair market value of $65.2 billion, according to data from the city’s Independent Budget Office. The Wall Street Journal requested the data to take a closer look at the proposal to impose higher property taxes on pied-à-terre owners, and the findings show that “the city’s most expensive homes would generate less money from a higher tax surcharge than what its advocates have suggested.”

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