Mayor Will Freeze Property Taxes For Three Years

February 16, 2011 Updated Feb 16, 2011 at 7:58 PM EDT

By Laura Gray

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February 16, 2011 Updated Feb 16, 2011 at 7:58 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) -- Mayor Byron Brown discussed the highlights of the past year. Violent crime and arsons are down, the city has an excellent credit rating, and there are several new investments to look forward to by private individuals. Despite the tough economic times, property owners are getting a break. Mayor Byron Brown is promising Buffalo taxpayers that he will change city assessment practices by ending yearly property reevaluation and hold the line on taxes for the next three years.
Common Council member Mickey Kearns says this news should be reassuring to taxpayers. While other cities are in debt, Kearns says the City of Buffalo is in solid financial shape even with 43 million dollars in cuts to state aid. "Not only do we have a rainy day fund, but we've built a surplus in the past five years."
Mayor Brown also discussed the Statler in his speech, telling us he has secured about 5 million dollars in taxpayer money to help developer Mark Croce stabilize the abandoned downtown building. Croce believes he will close on the Statler building by early April. Mayor Brown did not want to disclose where those public funds were coming from, saying it's "not 100 percent" a done deal yet. He told us he is comfortable with Croce's plans for the Statler as they evolve.
the mayor also talked about his commitment to HSBC Bank and keeping the 4000 jobs in downtown Buffalo.
He hopes the company stays in it's current location, but believes it was important to give HSBC flexibility it leaders decide to move to the Webster block.