Stakeholders in the Budget Process
Mayor – The Mayor enjoys the greatest amount of power in the budget process. The
majority of the City’s revenues go to his Office, and he is responsible for planning and
presenting the budget.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) - is responsible for assisting the Mayor in
developing and implementing the City's budget, and for advising the Mayor on policy
affecting the City's fiscal stability and the effectiveness of City services.
Commissioners – Heads of city agencies, appointed by the mayor.
City Council – This is the City legislature. Fifty-two council members, most of whom are
Democrats, have the power to have legislation in the City. They also have power to pass
the Mayor’s proposed budget. In reality, however, the City Council has, compared to the
Mayor, much less power to set the City’s budget priorities. During the current
administration, the Council has been very in tune with the goals of Mayor Bloomberg.
This has not always been the case.
Lobbyists – Lobbyists are people hired by individuals or entities that seek to influence
the actions of the City. In the case of the budget, companies and non-profit
organizations hire lobbyists to have money appropriated to their causes or to be hired to
deliver some of the City’s services. Lobbyists are usually individuals with previous
government experience and a wide range of connections throughout the City.
Unions – Formal associations of workers who band together to demand better wages,
benefits, or working conditions. These labor unions work to make their members’ lives
at work better through collective bargaining, and, on occasion, when bargaining fails, by
striking. NYC is home to many labor unions, including DC 37, the municipal public
employee union, and SEIU Local 32BJ, the building service workers union. Unions,
especially DC 37, play a significant role in the budget process because the salary paid to
the workers is an expense item on the operating budget. Furthermore, the pension fund
that the City contributes to for DC 37 is also a budget item.
State Legislature – This entity, located in Albany in upstate New York, makes laws for
the State. The Legislature evaluates and passes tax rates for various taxes in the State,
including NYC. This means it sets the personal income tax rate and the sales tax rate for
NYC. Since taxes make up the bulk of the revenue stream for the budget process,
having the power to set the tax rates can determine the intake from the revenue stream.
NYC only has the power to raise or lower the property tax without authorization from
the State Legislature. All the other taxes are determined by the State.
Government Oversight Agencies (e.g.: Comptroller) – Are agencies charged with the
task of monitoring and overseeing the work of a government process, such as the
budget. An example of a government oversight agency is the Comptroller’s Office
which is responsible for auditing the performance and finances of city agencies, making
recommendations regarding proposed contracts, issuing reports on the state of the city
economy, marketing and selling municipal bonds, managing city debt, and serving as
managing trustee of the public employees pensions funds.
Borough Presidents - Each of the five NYC boroughs elects a Borough President by
direct popular vote. Borough Presidents advise the Mayor on issues relating to each
borough, comment on all land use items in their borough, advocate borough needs in
the annual municipal budget process, and administer a small discretionary budget for
projects within their borough. Under the current City Charter, the Borough President's
powers are limited.
Good Government Groups (e.g.: Citizens Budget Commission, NY Public Interest
Research Group) – Groups that monitor and advocate for the honesty and integrity in
the political process to make sure that government is responsive to the needs of its
Media – Outlets such as newspapers, radio, television, the Internet that report on
information and events to the public. The media can be used to sway public opinion
about a certain issue.
Bond Raters (e.g.: Fitch, Moody’s, S&P): private companies that evaluate a bond issuer's
financial strength, or its the ability to pay a bond's principal and interest in a timely
Contract Agencies: sectors of NYC government, under the supervision of a
commissioner, who are hired to work on specific projects
Contractors: a person, business or corporation which provides goods or services to
another entity under terms specified in a contract
Advocacy Groups: groups determined to prevent or affect changes in public policy
without trying to be elected.
Voters: people who express their individual interests in order to come to a larger group
Community Boards: local governmental body within a borough that encompasses certain