Partnership shares vision for future

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is sharing its vision for the future of Buffalo. The Partnership and Mayor Byron Brown spoke about the direction the city and state are potentially moving in Tuesday.

State lawmakers hope to pass the budget by Monday, April 1st. Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature once predicted it would be finalized last week, but policy issues slowed down talks. Now the budget plan has some business owners concerned about what it means for taxpayers and employers.

"This is not a budget for which upstate citizens and especially Upstate employers can feel comfortable," said Andrew Rudnick, the President and CEO of Buffalo Niagara Partnership.

Rudnick said the current budget proposal has increased regulations and continued taxes that will critically affect the manufacturing industry. Rudnick said it sends a mixed message when state officials try to build a New New York with taxes and new regulations.

"[They] go against the grain of what the governor has expressed as his priority for economic development whether it's through the regional council or our Buffalo Billion. At best its perplexing," said Rudnick.

One of the line items in the new budget extends income taxes for millionaires.

"We have a budget that cuts taxes in the state of New York," Governor Andrew Cuomo said earlier the month. "Some taxes go up. Yes and others go down and the net is they go down."

Others parts of the budget include raising minimum wage and requiring all STAR property tax recipients to re-register for the program.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown says even though the budget isn't final, he's always looking for line items that are beneficial to Buffalo and western New York.

"We're still looking at all of the elements of the budget to see all of the things that we like and things that we might have some concerns about," said Brown.

Tuesday morning the Buffalo Niagara Partnership announced that they're endorsing Mayor Brown for re-election.

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Democrat Andrew Cuomo is Governor of New York.  Two Democrats represent NYS in the U.S. Senate, and NY has 29 representatives in the U.S. House: 21 Democrats and 8 Republicans.
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