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Retail tax revenue holds steady

Andy Ouriel • Mar 29, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Consumers shopping in Erie County generated about $1.24 million in sales tax income throughout December.

The amount mirrors actual collections from a year ago, in December 2011. Officials had hoped a robust holiday shopping season would pad their budget, funding dozens of public services.

When customers purchase products in Erie County, retailers apply a 6.5 percent tax on qualifying goods. Of that amount, 1 percent goes to Erie County’s budget, with the remaining funds placed in state coffers.

This year, county officials anticipate collecting about $14 million from sales tax, up $300,000 from the $13.7 million collected in 2012.

So far so good: The county has reaped close to $3.25 million, appearing on pace to reach $14 million for 2013.

“It looks like we are right on the money with our budget,” county administrator Pete Daniel said.

Sales tax represents almost half of all income for the county commissioners’ $26 million annual budget, with the remaining funds coming from several other sources. 

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