Homeowners would see their property taxes rise 9.6 percent under the $116.9 million budget Mayor James C. Galie will present to the City Council on Friday.
Owners of commercial and industrial properties would experience a 3 percent increase under Galie's proposed budget, which carries an additional $2 million in spending over this year's budget, according to figures obtained Wednesday by The Buffalo News.
City administrator Anthony J. Restaino said the budget, which was just completed and sent to be printed Wednesday, holds the line on services, contains no salary increases except those required under negotiated labor contracts, no employee upgrades, no major equipment purchases and no massive layoffs.
The budget provides for the court-ordered rehiring of nine former sanitation workers who were laid off three years ago when the city privatized garbage pickup. The reinstatements are subject to the city's reaching a final settlement with the union.
The spending plan also calls for institution of parking fees at the city's two downtown ramps and a $50 increase on all season passes for the Hyde Park Golf Course, with the new revenues to be dedicated to improvements at the course.
Galie will present his final budget at 3:30 p.m. in Council Chambers Friday, just three months before he leaves office. Galie lost the Democratic primary to Councilman John G. Accardo earlier this month.
The Council has two months to work on Galie's budget before it must return it to him by Dec. 1. The Council traditionally tries to lower the mayor's tax rates, although Restaino said the bulk of the $2 million increase is the result of negotiated pay raises and increases in health insurance.
The tax levy would increase by 8.2 percent, or $1,882,819, to $24,867,755.
The homestead tax rate for residential properties would be $14.39 per thousand of assessed valuation, up $1.27 from this year's $13.12, under Galie's plan.
The non-homestead rate would be $31.73, up 93 cents from this year's $30.80.
Restaino said the tax rates take into account the Council's mandate to equalize the two-tier tax rate by shifting the burden from non-homestead to homestead by 10 percent a year until the burden is less than 25 percent, when the system would be abolished.
In addition to the $50 increase for golf season tickets, Galie is proposing a $1 per round fee that is estimated to raise another $80,000 to be used for drainage design work and rental of additional maintenance equipment.
A flat fee of $5 would be initiated at the two downtown parking ramps to generate an estimated $385,000 in new revenues. The Council had enacted parking fees several years ago, but Restaino said at the time there was not enough business to pay for the salaries of the employees collecting the fees. The difference now, he said, is the projected opening of Aquafalls, the new state-of-the-art aquarium, next May.
The revenues would be offset by $125,000 in expenses for equipment and personnel to collect the fees and security, acting City Controller Sandra A. Peploe said.