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Holt Says County Borrowing Will Not Be Expensive to Taxpayers

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Erie County Legislature Chairman George Holt is trying to ease taxpayers' concerns that the impending deficit financing will be extraordinarily expensive. He says it won't cost the county as much as some critics are claiming.

Holt says the interest on the sale of $130 million in bonds to close a deficit in the current year's budget would cost the county $34 million. Revenue from a quarter-of-a-cent increase in the sales tax will pay off the bonds.

Holt said no one like raising taxes, but that it was necessary.

"When you're a legislator, you have to be responsible," Holt said. "You have to make unpopular decisions. It's unfortunate. But that comes with the job."

Holt says the Legislature will act on a home rule message at Thursday's regularly scheduled meeting in which the county will formally request state permission to raise its sales tax.