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Sales tax revenues drop in Erie County

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Chris Caya WBFO News
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The weak Canadian dollar is keeping shoppers at home. And that's led to a further decline in sales tax revenue for Erie County. With more here's WBFO's Chris Caya.

A new fiscal report shows sales tax revenue is down "significantly" in Erie County. That's according to County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw. He says the $11.2 million year-to-date decrease "is alarming." Mychajliw says it's only happened twice before.

"So now it's time to tighten the belt. The other two times where sales tax revenue decreased was the Great Recession, where the solution to that was slashing jobs within county government. And then the Red Green budget crisis, going back to 2004 and 2005, the solution was increasing taxes, increasing sales tax. I don't favor either one of those."

Mychajliw pegs the drop in sales tax revenue to the fact that fewer Canadians are crossing the border to shop in Erie County.

In a written response - the Poloncarz Administration said sales tax revenues are expected to increase over the next six months. And the administration is carefully managing the County budget.