Budget Update

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News and the LUSJ gave updates last week on the city budget.

Except for a few fine points, the 2012 city budget appears to be done, carrying a tax levy increase of 10 percent despite a tax rate decrease of 2.55 percent.

At the Common Council's second public hearing on the $23.3 million spending plan Wednesday, Mayor Michael W. Tucker said the Council will reconvene at 5 p.m. Tuesday for a final budget review.
The Council is to vote on the spending plan at 6 p.m. the next day, after a public hearing on a proposed law to override the state property tax cap.
The 2 percent cap applies not to the tax rate, but to the levy, which is the total amount to be collected in property taxes.
Spending in the budget is rising by 9 percent, or almost $2 million.
There are no layoffs, and one new job, a $36,699-a-year housing inspector, is being created.
City Clerk and Budget Director Richard P. Mullaney said the budget is balanced with one-shot moves and heavy use of reserve funds.
 As mentioned above the public comment period will be this Wednesday. Earlier Smith gave me a copy of the initial spreadsheet but I have yet to get my hands on PDFs of the latest revision like I did last year.

UPDATE 11-02-11

The LUSJ gave an update on last nights pre-meeting.

So long as a majority votes to override the state’s so-called tax cap, the Common Council will also vote tonight on adoption of a 2012 city budget that calls for a 3.4 percent tax rate reduction.

There were some disharmony in the Council meeting room Tuesday night, as the aldermen convened to go over the proposed $23.2 million budget one more time, line by line, with an eye on cuts.

Fourth Ward Alderman Andrew Chapman and 2nd Ward Alderman Jack Smith were pushing for more bigger line cuts, in areas including staffing, because while the tax rate may be decreasing by 52 cents per $1,000 of property value, the year-over-year increase in the tax levy — the amount of city spending being covered by property tax — is still 9 percent...

The budget went up 9%. The tax rate per thousand assessed value went down due to the increase of he value of property in the city over the last 10 years. About 1/3 of residential properties and 1/2 of business properties went up in assessment this year. They will see a tax bill increase. The other 2/3 of residential and 1/2 of businesses will see a smaller tax bill. It is what it is. More important is where the money is going and how it is being used. Yet all we see is the superficial arguing over statistics. We should be demanding a deeper conversation.

The public hearing is tonight at 6 at City Hall.


Anonymous said...

10% hike and no lay off's or cutbacks? How many individuals would be dumb enough to have their expenses raised 10% and not cut back on anything?
And this should be emphasized - "..City Clerk and Budget Director Richard P. Mullaney said the budget is balanced with one-shot moves and heavy use of reserve funds..."
So what happens next year? If we don't start cutting back this year it's going to really crazy next year.

Anonymous said...

At least we aren't doing like the town though, they are spending $27,000 to buy equipment to plow sidewalks for all the slum lords on Robonson Road! I'll bet some taxpayers aren't pleased with that one.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how Joe Kibler just can't resist the temptation to sound-off anytime any Alderman doesn't march lock-step with he and Mayor Tucker. He always uses words like "stunt" or shenanigans".
He even throws in a "Tom foolery" from time to time.

Let's save the city some money. It's time to do away with the Alderman At Large.

It's time to hang up the spikes Coach. You real want to serve the community and lower the budget? Retire....

Xavier said...

Joe - that's mean.

MJ said...

I think its valid. Since there are already 5 wards why have an extra vote than allows ties on votes?

Xavier said...

I agree that it's valid - I just thought it could've been put more nicely.
(Imagine that - coming from me!)

Anonymous said...

But that would take power away from the mayor to break ties, I am sure he wants that tie breaker vote in his pocket.

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