© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Brown's 2015-16 budget spends less than current plan

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown unveiled a budget proposal Friday which holds the line on residential property taxes, cuts commercial property taxes and is overall $11 million lower than the current spending plan.The $493 million budget proposal for fiscal year 2015-16 also anticipates new revenue through commercial development, as well as the adjustment of city fees and introduction of a new fee for vacant building registrations.

Brown, while presenting the budget in his office, spoke of how his fiscal plans have, over the years, taken a city once under the authority of a hard control board and transformed it to one with a soft control board, the highest credit rating in the city's history and reduced both residential and commercial property taxes.

The spending plan sets aside $150,000 for a new clean-up program, $150,000 for creation of a sidewalk snow removal program and funds for sidewalk replacement.

In regards to public safety, the Brown budget includes money to hire 120 new firefighters, three new fire trucks, 30 new police vehicles and support the Peacemakers gang intervention program.

The budget also covers the creation of a new job: a diversity officer. That person would work, in cooperation with the newly created Racial Equality Roundtable, to address issues related to racial equality among the numerous ethnic populations within the city.

The Common Council now has until May 22 to review and return a budget to the mayor's office. Mayor Brown may then veto additions made by the Council. The budget becomes official June 8, as per the City Charter.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.