February ended up being both brutally cold to Erie County residents and officials overseeing local sales tax collections.
Customers purchasing goods in Erie County contributed about $946,000 in sales tax income through February’s 28 days.
This amount falls just short of the $950,000 in sales tax county officials collected in February 2012.
Even worse, the $946,000 represents almost a 3 percent decrease compared to the amount officials expected to receive, about $972,000, when budgeting prior to 2013.
“The bad weather that we incurred in February probably ushered some people away from Erie County that would have been coming up to our water parks and shopping areas,” Erie County commissioner Bill Monaghan said.
Despite the setback, county officials still believe they can collect about $14 million in sales tax figures this year. In 2012, consumers generated close to $13.7 million in sales tax.
“We are dead even with the budget figures,” Monaghan said. “That is very encouraging.”
When customers purchase products in Erie County, retailers apply a 6.5 percent tax on qualifying goods. Of that amount, 1 percent goes to the county’s budget with the remaining funds placed in state coffers.
Sales tax represents about half the county commissioner’s $26 million budget. Sales tax money pays for various services, including court, sheriff and maintenance operations.