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January 28, 2015- By Steven E. Greer
Governor Cuomo “shrugged off” the cost to the city in lost tax revenue, and to workers in lost wages, caused by the unnecessary complete shutdown of the city in overreaction to a blizzard that never materialized. Mayor de Blasio has not yet shown his face to the public. So, BatteryPark.TV took a stab at estimating the cost.
According to the fiscal 2014 budget on the city’s website, the estimated revenue collected by the city in calendar year 2013 was $55 Billion. Therefore, assuming the city was completely shut down today on a normal workday, then the city lost $150 Million in tax revenue. The cost to the entire state is greater.
The cost to the individual citizen with a job is tougher to estimate. The same city budget document estimated that there were 3.45 Million private sector jobs in 2013. If we assume an average income of only $60,000 per worker, which is very conservative, then the lost wages from today’s shutdown was $581 Million.
If one looks at the lost Gross Domestic Product from the New York City region, the annual GDP is estimated to be $1.5 Trillion. So, one day less of GDP output from the storm equates to $4.1 Billion.
Since the airports and trains were completely shut down on January 27th as well, the effects of the decision to close down the city will have ripple effects beyond just the day of closure. Therefore, the city and workers lost a billion bucks or so from one decision in Albany. The region could have lost up to $4 Billion.
To put that in perspective, that is five times the revenue generated by the entire BPCA in one year. The BPCA’s operating revenue in 2014 was $236 Million.