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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2014 Archives > January 2014 > Buffalos Improved Fiscal Outlook

Buffalos Improved Fiscal Outlook

State Comptroller issued a report as part of fiscal profiles on cities statewide

January 13, 2014 - Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown stood beside State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today as he unveiled an improved profile of Buffalo’s fiscal situation during an afternoon news conference.  It showed that the city of Buffalo’s finances have stabilized in recent years because of careful budget planning, the oversight of a fiscal control board and increased state aid. 

“Since becoming Mayor, my focus has been on improving the fiscal outlook of Buffalo, fostering an even more vibrant business environment that will accelerate business investment and job creation and running a more efficient government,” said Mayor Brown, noting that $2.2 billion in new economic development activity is currently underway in Buffalo. “I thank Comptroller DiNapoli for taking the time to address the city’s fiscal condition.  Buffalo is on the right track and I’m pleased that this profile by the Comptroller recognizes that.” 

“Buffalo’s finances are trending in the right direction,” said Comptroller DiNapoli. “Sensible budgeting, improved revenue growth and increased economic development are responsible for the city emerging from years under a financial control board. The leadership of Mayor Brown, city officials and members of the oversight board has been instrumental in creating a positive fiscal outlook for Buffalo, but there are a number of red flags they should be wary of moving forward. I urge city officials to continue their cautious fiscal approach and be vigilant when it comes to long-term financial planning.”

The report is part of the Comptroller’s push to highlight economic conditions of municipalities across the state.  During his remarks, Mayor Brown acknowledged that there’s work to do to continue to strengthen the city fiscally but also outlined many positive factors that have contributed to the city’s improved fiscal condition, including significant efforts to promote new development that has resulted in $2.2 billion in new economic development activity in Buffalo:

  • City expenditures stayed in line with revenues, also increasing by 2.3 percent annually over this period, compared to 3.3 percent for all cities.
  • In July 2012, after three consecutive fiscal years of adopting and adhering to budgets which did not show a deficit, and being certified as having access for its debt in the general public market, the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority ended its control of the City’s finances.
  • By November 2013, the unemployment rate in Buffalo had declined to 8.4 percent.
  • Buffalo continues to make strides in lowering the amount of its Constitutional Tax Limit exhausted, going from 92 percent in 2005 to 70 percent in 2013.
  • Commerical property tax rates have been reduced by 28% since 2006.  Residential property tax rates have been reduced over 15% since 2006. 
  • The City of Buffalo’s expenditures grew at an average annual rate of 2.3 percent between 2002 and 2012, compared to 3.3 percent for both the Big Four cities and all cities.
  • The City of Buffalo established a “Rainy Day Fund” with $35.7 million as of June 30, 2012. The BFSA also credits the city with spending restraint and reasonable revenue projections.
  • Moody’s has upgraded the City of Buffalo three times between 2006 and 2012 from Baa3 to A1.
  • Buffalo added 2,200 jobs during 2013 – more than the other Big Four cities.  Its 2.1 percent growth in employment was just below the State’s 2.2 percent gain.
  • The full value of property in Buffalo increased by 23 percent from 2002 to 2013, which was slightly under the 30 percent inflation rate during this period.

    For a copy of the Buffalo fiscal profile visit:
    http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/pubs/listresearch2.htm