Erie County commissioners voted 3-0 Thursday to purse the process of raising the sales tax rate from 6.5 percent to 7 percent.
The proposed one-half of 1 percent would generate an extra $7 million for Erie County's budget.
Commissioners Tom Ferrell, Bill Monaghan and Pat Shenigo said they're raising the rate specifically to address and fund long-neglected maintenance issues, including infrastructure and facilities at the jail, courthouse and nursing home.
The commissioner's $26 million operating budget can't afford these expenses.
At least two public hearings must occur before the rate occurs, tentatively slated for Oct. 1.
Pick up Friday's Register to read more about the proposed tax hike.