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Bike Week fuels sales tax boost

Andy Ouriel • Sep 19, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Droves of motorcyclists attending Ohio’s largest two-wheeled extravaganza revved up both their bikes and the local economy.

Shoppers purchasing taxable goods in June throughout Erie County generated $1.49 million in local sales tax income.

The $1.49 million represents a 1 percent gain compared to June 2012.

To date, county officials have collected about $10 million in sales tax through 2013. They’re also $259,000 above the projected amount officials estimated they’d receive by today’s date.

All told, sales tax income should meet, if not exceed, the $14 million figure budgeted for 2013. The final collection is in December.

“The sales tax keeps indicating that the general economic climate in Erie County and the U.S. continues to do better,” Erie County commissioner Bill Monaghan said.

Monaghan credited a surging sales tax figure to families scheduling vacations in popular places, including Cedar Point and Kalahari Resort.

But 160,000 people showing up for Ohio Bike Week — an early June motorcycle event spanning 10 days with dozens of events located across Erie County— also produced big bucks for county officials.

“Despite the weather, we had record crowds,” Ohio Bike Week organizer Steve Ernst said.

Sales tax represents about half the county commissioners’ everyday operating budget, totaling about $26 million each year. Sales tax money helps pay for various services, including court, sheriff and maintenance operations.

Sales tax collection

Past three months

• June 2013: $1.49 million 

• May 2013: $1.24 million 

• April 2013: $1.08 million

Past June collections

• June 2013: $1.49 million

• June 2012: $1.47 million

• June 2011: $1.46 million

Total collections through first nine months of:

• 2013: $10 million

• 2012: $9.74 million

• 2011: $9.31 million

Note: Erie County officials finalize sales tax figures three months after the actual collection. For instance, June’s collection was finalized in September.

Source: Erie County finance department

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