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Sales tax revenues boost Erie County coffers

WBFO file photo

Shoppers enriched New York State and local counties last year, as sales tax collections were up more than five percent.

New figures from Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz say sales tax revenues were more than $12-million above estimate. That represents an increase of over four percent from 2017.

"That's good news for the Erie County budget," said Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw.

"Bridge traffic is down at our Canadian border so I credit this to Donald Trump's tax cuts that put more money in the pockets of income generators and away from government."

The windfall was not unique to Erie County. Salamanca collections rose from 2017 to 2018 by more than eight percent;  Allegany County collections were up well over eight percent. Counties across the state collected $17 billion more compared to 2017.

"It's something we watch and monitor every month," said Mychajliw who worries the revenue flow will eventually dry up.

"Wall Street has always hit Erie County pretty hard for being so dependent on sales tax revenue. It is our largest source of revenue. And, we will live, breathe and die by that income source and that's rather unfortunate."

Mychajliw says he would have either lowered the property tax in this year's budget or put more of it into roads and bridges.