A report shows the city of Buffalo’s finances have stabilized due to budget planning, oversight of a fiscal control board, and increased state aid, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced today.
DiNapoli has issued more than a dozen profiles on municipalities across the state. The report on the city of Buffalo is one of the latest.
“Buffalo’s finances are trending in the right direction. Sensible budgeting, improved revenue growth and increase economic development are responsible for the city emerging from years under a financial control board,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “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.”
The report found over the past decade, Buffalo’s revenues have increased 20 percent, at $447 million in 2012. Also in 2012, the city had three consecutive fiscal years of balanced budgets, Gannett’s Ashley Hupfl.
“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,” Mayor Byron Brown said in a statement.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made Buffalo a priority and has designated $1 billion to its revival.
In the report, DiNapoli warned of several negative factors that will continue to confront the city, which has half the population it did in the 1950s. The population is about 260,000 .
The report found from 2002 through 2013, Buffalo’s property value increased at a much slower rate than other cities, at 1.9 percent annually. The median home value in Buffalo is $66,200, compared to the state’s median house value of $301,000. Buffalo’s median household income of $30,230 is lower than the $48,699 median for cities statewide.
“Buffalo certainly faces some significant challenges, both demographically and financially,” Buffalo Comptroller Mark Schroeder said in a statement. “However, in recent years the city has made considerable progress in improving its economy, as well as its finances.”