Buffalo Common Council publishes budget guide; organizes public meetings on the spending proposal | Local News

The Buffalo Common Council has released a citizen’s guide to understanding the budget to help the public navigate Mayor Byron W. Brown’s proposed $568 million spending plan.

The new guide precedes budget hearings, workshops and public sessions next week.

The 14-page guide covers key terms and components for understanding each department’s budget.

“The Buffalo Common Council’s responsibility is to ensure that we vote on a balanced and fiscally fair budget,” said council chairman Darius G. Pridgen. “This budget outlines operating revenues and expenses, US bailout allocations, training, and departmental financial requests. Our goal is to educate and empower all of our residents to understand and make suggestions on how we can use taxpayer dollars to build a stronger Buffalo, not just for today, but for tomorrow.

The guide can be found on the city’s website under Budget Resources.

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Council members begin deliberations on the budget on Monday, when they hold several meetings, including budget hearings starting at 9 a.m. in the council chamber with representatives from various departments.

A public hearing to gather community feedback will be held Tuesday at 5 p.m. Those wishing to speak can attend in person or join virtually via Zoom. To join via Zoom, contact Council staff at [email protected] or call 851-5105.

Budget workshops will begin at 10 a.m. on May 16 in Room 1417 at City Hall for department heads to answer questions from council members.

The deadline for the Council to vote on the budget is May 22.

Brown’s $568 spending proposal asks the city to raise residential property taxes by 5% and commercial property taxes by 6.6%. Recycling and garbage user fees would increase by approximately 4%. There is a $5 million increase in recommended spending for the Buffalo Police Department for more detectives and technology, among other things.

The spending plan also includes additional funding for 19 vehicles for the Department of Public Works to address winter snow removal issues, a state-of-the-art GPS system for DPW vehicles, and expanding employment and training efforts for city ​​youth to provide year-round job opportunities for youth.

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