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Recognizing Adams Administration’s Successful Fiscal Management, Leading Independent, Credit Rating Agencies Affirm New York City’s Strong Financial Standing

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today highlighted recent affirmations of the city’s bond ratings based upon strong fiscal management by four internationally-recognized, independent credit rating agencies — Moody’s Investors Service, S&P Global Ratings, Fitch Ratings, and Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA). Maintaining a strong bond rating is an indication of the city’s financial strength and encourages continued investment in the city’s bonds, which help support funding to build and maintain schools, streets, parks, and other critical infrastructure that spans the five boroughs. 

“Moody’s, S&P, Fitch, and KBRA are all saying the same thing: this administration is making the right financial decisions today to ensure a better and stronger tomorrow for all New Yorkers,” said Mayor Adams. “Thanks to our proactive fiscal management, reductions in asylum seeker spending, and better-than-expected economic recovery, we have confronted our financial challenges and shown the world that New York City is back and open for business. While we must continue to responsibly manage our budget — and still need additional support from our partners at the state and federal level — today’s news is reason to take pride in our early decisions and make us cautiously optimistic about our financial future.” 

Moody’s Investor Services was the first to reaffirm their assessment of the city’s bond rating last week, citing that their decision “reflects successful implementation of budget measures to help close budget gaps in the current and succeeding fiscal year primarily caused by the migrant crisis.” The reaffirmation also cites that the city’s “stable outlook reflects continuing economic expansion and tax revenue growth, coupled with robust financial management, which is anticipated to help mitigate budget pressures from the migrant crisis and the end of pandemic era federal aid.” 

In its ratings report, S&P wrote “The stable outlook reflects our view of New York City’s relatively resilient economy, including its full recovery of jobs lost during the pandemic. In addition, the city benefits from a global presence and diversified employment in technology, health care, financial services, and arts and entertainment. We believe the city’s commitment to build reserves to a level that exceeds the pre-pandemic amount on a sustained basis supports its credit fundamentals and helps position it to weather a shallower but more protracted national economic slowdown.”

Fitch Ratings cited the city’s exceptionally strong budget monitoring and controls, supporting Fitch’s high assessment of operating performance. The city experienced “strong recovery coming out of the pandemic, as well as improvement and reserve levels.” 
KBRA wrote that the “city’s role as international business and cultural center commensurate with its status as the nation’s largest city, and position as the center of a large metropolitan economy” contributed to its rating assignment and went on to note that “institutionalized policies and procedures support financial stability.” 

As a direct result of the Adams administration’s strong, proactive fiscal management and decisive action, the administration achieved a record $6.6 billion in Program to Eliminate the Gap (PEG) savings over Fiscal Years (FY) 2024 and 2025 between the November Financial Plan and the Preliminary Budget. This included $1.7 billion in asylum seeker PEG savings — a 20 percent cut — achieved over FY24 and FY25 by helping to put migrants on a path towards self-sufficiency with intensified case management and reducing the household per-diem costs of providing care.

These actions helped balance the FY25 Preliminary Budget and stabilize the city’s financial position without layoffs, tax hikes, or major disruptions to city services — and their success, along with better-than-expected tax revenue growth, have allowed the administration to restore funding for initiatives that are mayoral priorities, including those related to public safety, quality of life, and young people. Additionally, last week, as a result of the administration’s responsible fiscal management, Mayor Adams was able to cancel the FY25 Executive Budget PEG for city agencies, as well as move city agencies from a full hiring freeze to a 2-for-1 attrition/hiring model and ease other-than-personal spending freeze restrictions. The administration is able to make these changes by further reducing asylum seeker costs by implementing an additional 10 percent PEG on budgeted city-funded asylum seeker costs over FY24 and FY25, while continuing intensive case work for migrants to help them on their path to self-sufficiency.

Since this national humanitarian crisis began, New York City has taken fast and urgent action and continued to effectively manage the asylum seeker humanitarian crisis largely on its own without substantial aid. To date, New York City has provided care for approximately 180,000 asylum seekers since the spring of 2022, with approximately 65,000 still currently in the city’s care. The city has also provided case management, shelter, food, and more to asylum seekers; stood up navigation centers with support from community-based organizations to connect new arrivals with critical resources; and enrolled tens of thousands of school-aged children in public schools through Project Open Arms. As a result of the administration’s responsible policies — including providing 30 to 60 days of intensified case management — more than 60 percent of the asylum seekers who have come through the city’s intake center have left the city’s care and are taking the next steps in their journeys towards self-sufficiency.

Additionally, as of the Preliminary Budget, daily growth of the number of migrant households in the city’s care had slowed by nearly 60 percent since the implementation of these policies. Through the Asylum Application Help Center and the city’s satellite sites, the city has helped submit more than 36,000 work authorization, temporary protected status, and asylum applications — moving asylum seekers that much closer to being able to legally work and live a more self-sufficient life. 

February 27, 2024 New York City Hall

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February 2024

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