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Erie County Comptroller disputes rosy budget picture

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Erie County Comptroller Mark Polocarz

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – While the County Executive is boasting a healthy budget, not everyone is impressed, namely his rival in the upcoming election.

Erie County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz said the county executive's assessment of the county's finances is nothing but smoke and mirrors.

Poloncarz, who is challenging Collins in the county executive race this fall, said the budget is filled with one shot revenues, a reliance on surplus and on what he called an "illegal tax levy."

Poloncarz said Collins unnecessarily raised the tax levy by eight million dollars. And Poloncarz said that is being challenged in court.

"If the county executive loses that lawsuit he's going to half to pay back the eight million dollars to the people of Erie County, and then that surplus doesn't look as wonderful as it did," said Poloncarz.

"So, there are some significant storm clouds on the horizon and while the county executive might be touting he now as he enters his re-election campaign, I think it's fair to say the people of Buffalo deserve to know the real reasons for the surplus - not wonderful budgeting, but shear luck."