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County Legislature Approves Revised Four Year Fiscal Recovery Plan

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – With a deadline of October 1st hanging over its head, the Erie County Legislature voted Friday afternoon to approve a four-year fiscal recovery plan.

The vote, for now, holds off the state's advisory board overseeing county finances from becoming a hard control board. That could change if the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority deems the Legislature-approved plan unacceptable.

Lawmakers voted along party lines with eight Democrats in favor and seven Republican against it.

The plan is much different from what County Executive Joel Giambra proposed last month. Deficit financing is eliminated and next year's property tax increase is scaled back from 25 to 16 percent. The plan does call for a half-cent increase in the sales tax. But the Legislature is still two votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to formally enact a higher sales tax.

During a stop in Buffalo earlier today, State Comptroller Alan Hevesi said he was opposed to deficit financing to balance next year's county budget.