NYC Comptroller’s Office Releases 2023 Popular Annual Financial Report

By A Correspondent

The Office of New York City Comptroller Brad Lander released the Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) for fiscal year ended June 30, 2023, on December 21. The PAFR is a comprehensive summary of the previously released Annual Comprehensive Financial Release (ACFR). It serves as a comprehensive yet accessible overview of the city’s financial health and activities, crafted specifically for the general public. It contains the city’s audited financial statements and detailed data on the city’s finances.
“New York’s recovery is steadily surpassing expectations and maintaining this will require thoughtful and sustainable budgeting decisions,” a news release quoted NYC Comptroller Brad Lander, as saying.“This year’s PAFR once again provides a clear accounting of how the City is spending tax dollars and how the economic rebound is shaping up in a comprehensive format easily accessible for all New Yorkers. I am thankful to our Bureau of Accountancy for their efforts on this award-winning report that sets a standard for transparency among municipal finance professionals and governments across the country.”
For the 43rd consecutive year, the City of New York was awarded the prestigious Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). This report will be submitted specifically for consideration of GFOA’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting which the City of New York has received for the last eight fiscal years, it added.
This year’s PAFR highlights:
New York City’s Economy

New York City boasts one of the world’s most diverse and robust economies, serving as a global financial hub and a center for various industries. Its economy is multifaceted, with key sectors including finance, technology, media, healthcare, tourism, real estate, and entertainment. Wall Street, located in the Financial District, is a cornerstone of the city’s economy, housing major financial institutions and driving the global finance industry. Additionally, the city’s tech sector continues to expand rapidly, particularly in areas like Silicon Alley, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. The media and entertainment industries, anchored by companies in film, television, publishing, and advertising, thrive in the city’s vibrant cultural landscape. Tourism remains a significant contributor, with iconic landmarks like Times Square, Broadway theaters, and world-renowned museums drawing millions of visitors annually. Moreover, New York City’s real estate market remains robust, constantly evolving with commercial and residential development projects. Despite facing challenges, the city’s economy remains resilient, adaptive, and a symbol of opportunity and innovation on a global scale.

In Fiscal Year 2023, the city’s economy continued to recover from the pandemic-induced recession.  By June 2023, private-sector employment was close to the record high set in February 2020, the proportion of New York City adult residents with jobs reached an all-time high, and wage and salary income also surpassed its pre-pandemic high, even after adjusting for inflation. Other economic metrics—ranging from residential real estate values to hotel revenues—had just about fully recovered. The commercial real estate sector continued to face headwinds.
Employment Across New York City

  • The city recovered almost all of the roughly 950,000 jobs lost at the start of the pandemic by the end of Fiscal Year 2023.
  • As of June 2023, private-sector employment was just 8,900 (0.2%) below its pre-pandemic peak.
  • During Fiscal Year 2023, health care and social assistance saw the strongest job gains.
  • The information sector saw a notable decline of 15,000—reflecting a combination of the writers’ strike, the impending actors’ strike and technology layoffs.

Housing and the Cost of Rent

  • After rising sharply over the course of Fiscal Year 2022, the median citywide rent resumed a more modest pace of increase in Fiscal Year 2023, as the inventory of available units trended up gradually. Still, the median rent reached a record high of $3,750 in June 2023.

The City of New York’s Finances
Program and General Revenues

  • In Fiscal Year 2023, program and general revenues were approximately $110.3 billion, an increase of $2.7 billion from Fiscal Year 2022.
    • Real estate taxes had the most revenues, totaling $31.5 billion, followed by operating grants and contributions at $27.9 billion.
    • The increase in real estate taxes resulted from growth in billable assessed value during the fiscal year.
  • The City budgeted less Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds and FEMA Public Assistance COVID-19 Emergency Protective Measures in FY 2023 due to lower pandemic response needs.

Expenses

  • Fiscal Year 2023 expenses were approximately $106.8 billion, an increase of close to $9.4 billion from Fiscal Year 2022.
    • Social Services expenses increased due to an increase in Department of Homeless Services expenses related to the asylum seeker response.
    • Transit expenses increased due to increased spending related to Taxi and Limousine Commission relief efforts.
    • Health expenses decreased due to a decrease in Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Health and Hospitals expenditures on initiatives to respond to COVID-19.
  • Education, public safety and judicial, and social services were the largest shares of expenses respectively.

The full Popular Annual Financial Report for 2023 is available here.

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