$34.5 Million Budget Gap For Buffalo 2017 Budget

City uses reserves to stay in the black

Richard Root
December 13, 2017 - 4:17 am

WBEN Photo/Dave Debo

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - The City of Buffalo had a $34.5 million budget gap for this past fiscal year.  Fortunately for taxpayers, the gap was filled be reserve funds, but city comptroller Mark Schroeder warns that there isn't much left of those reserve funds.

Schroeder’s office issued its year-end financial statements for the city’s last fiscal year, which is July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017.

$34.5 million in reserves were needed to balance the books for that year, leaving only $6.5 million in the “unassigned” category of fund balance, the only type that can be used to fill a budget gap.

“For too long the city has relied on its reserves to compensate for structurally imbalanced budgets,” said Schroeder.

“With those reserves dwindling, the city will soon no longer be able to dip into its savings to fill the holes in its budgets.”

Schroeder points to overly optimistic revenue projections, rising expenses, and the money-hemorrhaging solid waste fund as major causes of the budget deficit.

The warning was issued the same day the Buffalo Common Council approved a $22.8 million capital budget for 2018 proposed by Mayor Bryon Brown last November (read that article HERE).

That budget includes approximately $9.8 million on improving streets, sidewalks, streetscapes, and the addition of bike lanes in the city.

$5 million was set aside for a new fire station and relocation of a new Buffalo Animal Shelter with an estimated cost of $4 million.
 

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