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Sales tax collections fall below expectations

Andy Ouriel • Feb 18, 2014 at 7:24 AM

Erie County commissioners seemed grateful, but not overjoyed, with the latest batch of sales tax figures.

Consumers buying taxable goods in Erie County this past November produced about $1.48 million in local sales tax income.

County officials just finalized November’s collection this month. The total fell about 3 percent short of the projections for November, made a few months ago.

It’s the second consecutive month in which a decrease of at least 3 percent — actual collection vs. budgeted amount anticipated — occurred.

“It looks like we have seen a dip in consumer confidence this month and last in relation to the sales tax numbers,” Erie County commissioner Bill Monaghan said. Sales tax helps funds many county services, including court, sheriff and maintenance operations.

2014 tax outlook

Erie County will collect a lot of sales tax money this year. Beginning this past October, shoppers buying taxable goods in Erie County have paid a bit more. In July, county commissioners voted to temporarily raise the sales tax rate for one year.

The increase is expected to generate and extra $7.2 million in 2014 for a yearly total of about $22 million. The additional funding is strictly earmarked to fund infrastructure improvements. The state’s portion of the sales tax also increased at the same time the county’s temporary tax spike went into effect.


Here’s a breakdown of the past, present and future tax outlook in Erie County:

•6.5 percent: Tax rate prior to October, with 5.5 percent going to the state and 1 percent going to Erie County.

•7.25 percent: Tax rate from Oct. 1, 2013 to Oct. 1, 2014, with 5.75 percent going to state and 1.5 percent going to Erie County.

•6.75 percent: Tax rate from Oct. 1, 2014 going forward, with 5.75 percent going to state and 1 percent going to Erie County.


2014 Erie County sales tax income

Actual collection to date: $2.96 million


•Budgeted amount to date: $3.07 million


•Up or down: Down about $105,000


•Year-end goal: $22 million


Note: Erie County officials finalize sales tax figures three months after the actual collection.


For instance, the November collection was finalized in February. All figures rounded.

Source: Erie County finance department

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