Finally, a bit of good financial news for the Erie County commissioners.
County administrator Mike Bixler reported today that Erie County sales taxes collected in February and turned in this month rose $40,187, or 5.16 percent, from the like months of 2007. That's the first solid gain after five months of 2008 sales taxes (they went up a little over 1 percent in February and March, but fell by several percentage points in January and April).
For the year, sales taxes for the county essentially are flat -- down 0.20 percent -- but naturally Bixler and the commissioners are hoping the sales tax situation has turned around. The most important sales tax months are still to come -- the summer tourism season, including next month's Ohio Bike Week (June 6-15).
Speaking of that, commissioners have reached a compromise with Ohio Bike Week organizers and agreed to allow light military vehicles and a tent to be placed on the lawn of the Erie County Courthouse. They previously nixed putting a Sherman tank and other equipment on the lawn. The Bike Week folks have to put plywood under the vehicles to protect the lawn and pay for any damages the vehicles cause to the lawn or sidewalks.
Bixler concluded his letter to the Ohio Bike Week organizers by writing, "Best wishes on a successful Ohio Bike Week." We think that means, "Have a good time, and be sure to spend lots of money in Erie County."