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Buffalo to begin new round of property assessments

The City of Buffalo is preparing to embark on its first property assessment in five years. The process is expected to take about two years and, in 2017, some property owners may see a tax increase.Mayor Byron Brown, whose budget for the coming fiscal year holds the line on property taxes, says while they anticipate a large jump in many property values, any tax increases are limited by state law.

"We think with the city growing, more residents coming in, more people living in the city, more businesses coming in, more people working in the city, we need to capture some of this increased value so that we can keep pace with the demand for additional services," Brown told WBFO.

Brown says the city is taking on the assessment to make sure property owners are being charged fairly. Some believe values may spike as high as 20 percent. But Brown says that under the law, anyone who receives a tax increase would pay no more than two percent over the previous year.

"We want people to not be overcharged or undercharged," the mayor said. "We have been very focused on tax cutting over the years. Residentially, since 2006, we've cut the tax rate about 16% and commercially, we've cut the tax rate about 30%."

The assessment is expected to be completed for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.