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Strong Canadian Dollar Results in Increased Sales Tax Revenues

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Erie County budget hearings are underway in County Hall. Budget Director James Hartman updated county legislators Tuesday on the proposed budget for 2008.

It holds the line on property taxes while adding spending to hire more probation officers.

Hartman said the strong Canadian dollar has led to an influx of shoppers from across the border, resulting in higher than expected sales tax revenues this year.

"We're expecting to run $7 million to $8 million ahead in sales tax revenue compared to what was budgeted," Hartman said. "If we have a good fourth quarter, we'll be even further ahead. We're getting a good effect from the strong Canadian dollar."

The Legislature has until early December to approve the 2008 budget. Legislature Chair Lynn Marinelli said she plans to involve the next county executive in their discussions following next week's election.