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Through the budget, the Mayor and the Council establish priorities, allocate resources and set the policy agenda for the year.

What is the Council Role in the Budget?

The budget is the centerpiece of policymaking in government. It is the single most important municipal document that affects the lives of New Yorkers.

In addition to its role as the New York City's legislative body, the Council works closely with the Mayor each year to develop and approve the city's annual budget. The Council's responsibilities related to the budget are broad, including giving final approval to the budget prior to the start of the Fiscal Year on July 1 (the Adopted Budget).

The Mayor proposes the city's spending priorities for the upcoming year in the Preliminary Budget, usually submitted by January 16th each year.

To ensure that the budget that is passed reflects New Yorkers' needs and priorities, the Council conducts an in-depth review of all city agencies, their policies, their programs and their expenses. At the end of the budget hearings, held in March, the Council publishes its Preliminary Budget Response, which defines the Council's budgetary priorites and changes the Council would like to see in the budget.

The Mayor then submits a revised Executive Budget, usually by April 26th. The Council holds additional hearings to review the Executive Budget. In adopting the budget for the coming fiscal year, the Council may change budget priorities and add "terms and conditions" on the expenditure of appropriated city funds—for example, requiring city agencies to report to the Council on how specific monies are being spent throughout the year.As part of adopting the budget, the Council sets property tax rates for all taxable real property for the year.