While Mayor de Blasio’s budget proposal raises several questions about issues ranging from expected healthcare savings to projected deficits, it answers one solidly, just the way we wanted it answered.
Yes, the mayor is living up to his campaign promise to reduce the burden of excessive fines on small businesses, a welcome change from his predecessor’s practice.
De Blasio’s budget plan forsees a drop in revenue from such fines of 8 percent when compared with fiscal year 2012, from $859 million to $789 million. That may not sound like all that much, but it’s a start. More promising is that he projects revenue from Health Department summonses issued to restaurants to fall 44 percent, from $54 million in FY 2012 to $30 million in FY 2015.
Many of these fines have had less to do with health and safety than with generating revenue for the city. They have been crushing to many small businesses, the kind of shops that are so crucial to daily life in Queens. De Blasio recognized this as public advocate and a candidate for mayor. It’s good to see that he also does now that he’s in City Hall, and the change can only be good for the city.