Due to a change in payroll taxes in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s annual take-home salary jumped by more than 2 percent last year, he revealed on Friday in his weekly radio interview.
The pay on his $1-a-year salary jumped from 93 cents to 95 cents, Bloomberg told John Gambling. With an estimated net worth of about $27 billion, Bloomberg promised in 2001 that he would refuse the $225,000 annual salary he’s entitled to as mayor, accepting a token payment of a dollar instead. (Seven cents is deducted for federal Social Security and Medicare contributions.)
He kept that promise throughout his 12 years in office, even as the great recession of 2008 affected most pocketbooks.
But he said that he does not cash the checks. “I have them all framed,” the mayor said.
He added that he even has a blank spot on his wall for his last check, which he will receive in November.
During the same interview, Bloomberg said that many college-age students would be better off looking for a plumbing job rather than seeking a degree that may not be worth that much in the employment lines.
“Plumbers have pricing power because they have to be there,” Bloomberg said. “Being a plumber would probably, for the average person, be a better deal (than college).”
Unlike many jobs, he added, plumbing cannot be outsourced and won’t leave you saddled with student loans.
Bloomberg also expressed his fear that the city’s error-riddled Board of Elections voting system might cause a situation where no mayor will be picked by the time he leaves office. He said he wants to bring back the old lever voting machines.
“This all comes about from picking about the dumbest voting system,” he said, insisting that “old machines worked fine.”
For months, the Board of Elections has been warning that it doesn’t think it’s capable of re-configuring the city’s new electronic voting machines in time if a run-off election is needed to settle the primaries.
The State Senate has already passed a bill allowing the resurrection of the old machines, but the idea has received little support in the Assembly.
But the mayor gave assurances that he will step down.
“I’ll be in the city, but I will not be mayor, no matter what happens,” he said.