BUFFALO (WKBW) When Mayor Byron Brown took the podium to lay out his spending plan for the City of Buffalo, it didn't take long to get into the highlights.
The standout of the 2014-2015 budget, a cut in residential property taxes by .5 percent and a cut in commercial property taxes of 1.7 percent.
"This now brings us to the lowest residential and commercial tax rates in twenty years," Mayor Brown said.
The Mayor says with all the commercial development going on in Buffalo, he wants to focus on residential neighborhoods.
"My goal is to create 1300 new units of housing to stimulate our city's tax base. We want to make sure that we are capturing as many of these new job holders to live in the City of Buffalo as we possibly can," Brown added.
On the public safety front, the proposed budget provides one million dollars for new police vehicles. The fire dispatch system will be replaced with a brand new one to allow for better communication among first responders, and the budget will fund a new class of incoming police officers and firefighters.
In education, this budget sends $70.3 million dollars to Buffalo Public Schools. It contains additional money for the "Say Yes to Education" program, and continues funding instrument and summer programs as well.
Cultural organizations will continue to see matched funding, and the budget keeps most city fees flat for next year.
"We are firmly confident that Buffalo will become even more competitive for business growth and even more attractive for residential investment," Mayor Brown said.
The total budget is up this year, even with those tax cuts. The Mayor says there will be an increase in building permit fees, and the city is looking to seek revenue from parking tickets from the state to make up the difference.
The budget will now go to the Buffalo Common Council for approval.