BUFFALO, N.Y. — For the first time in a while, the City of Buffalo homeowners and business owners will face tax increases and fee hikes. as part of the new city budget proposal.
Paying more to a city already flush with federal aid isn't sitting well with everyone, although the plan does address a major concern about future revenue which was shared by the City Comptroller.
Some members of the common council say there will be more scrutiny of this spending plan.
In the proposed 2024 Buffalo City budget, property owners can expect a tax jump of 3.8% to cover what Mayor Byron Brown says is higher operating expenses for the city government. He gave the potential cost for some homeowners.
"For a home assessed at $100,000, you'll be paying an additional $46 a year."
Obviously, that amount goes up for a higher value home and commercial properties.
City Council members, who do have some oversight, say they will dig through the budget for potential cuts or savings that can be found as they realize the impact.
"That's the balancing act we're going to have to look at. How we increase some revenues but kind of don't hit people too hard in their wallets. So again if we are looking at both sides of the equation, like we should be, and hopefully reducing some expenditures I don't think those increases would have to be as high," Council President Pro Tem and South District Councilman Brian Scanlon says.
The mayor is also calling for an increase in the sanitation fee for property owners noting that an increase in the garbage user fee between seven dollars and 22 dollars depends on the size of the tote. The increase we are proposing for the user fee is needed to address higher fuel costs and equipment repairs. This will make our sanitation operations self-sufficient."
Overall Councilman Scanlon says City Hall must keep all costs in mind.
"Health care costs are through the roof, inflation through the roof so the costs of doing business, anything is costing us a lot more money than it has in the past. So believe me the last thing I'd like to do or like to see happen is fees, and taxes be increased for the residents of the city of Buffalo. But we have to have enough money to operate at the end of the day."
Members of the city council say they will be seeking public input in hearings in council chambers and there may be budget workshops to look for any possible savings in this spending outline from the Mayor and his staff.