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Public hearing on Buffalo's budget set for Tuesday evening

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Buffalo Common Council members have been peering more closely at the numbers in Mayor Byron Brown's proposed 2018-19 budget. On Tuesday in City Hall, the public will have a chance to air their concerns.

Brown's $513.6 million spending plan raises commercial and residential property taxes for the first time in a dozen years. It also introduces a ticket surcharge for events at five Buffalo venues that would raise money to help the city cover the cost of police and public works needs at public outings.

"We're trying to figure out whether or not we can cut some of those charges, some of those increases that are being proposed," said Common Council member David Rivera. "It's very difficult because we need to find cuts in order to do that."

Common Council members on Monday heard from department heads from the city's Permits, Parks and Public Works divisions. The public has an opportunity to voice concerns at a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, beginning at 5 p.m., in Common Council chambers. 

Rivera says what concerns lawmakers are some of the budget's projections. Many consider those projections unreliable.

"They made some projections in the budget that some Council members and the Comptroller's office feel are not reliable," Rivera said. "Based on previous trends, we have seen a deficit when it comes to those projections. That is a concern that we all have."

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.
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