Erie County Workers Could Face Layoffs

July 27, 2010 Updated Jul 27, 2010 at 6:53 PM EDT

By Laura Gray

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July 27, 2010 Updated Jul 27, 2010 at 6:53 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) -- Today, County Executive Chris Collins says that means county workers should expect significant cuts and possible layoffs. Last year there was a surplus of 40 million dollars, but there are three significant losses of revenue this year that could lead the county to cut jobs. Federal stimulus money isn't expected for 2011, and Collins was hoping to see 20 million dollars.Property taxes were projected at four percent, instead, they only increased by 1.4 percent. Finally, sales tax was expected to grow, instead it is less than it was in 2009.

The county has asked several departments to cut 20 percent of their costs. Some areas like social services and jail management services will be spared. Comptroller Mark Polancarz says his department is already doing more with much less following the drastic cuts in 2005, and he's concerned about services being reduced as a result. The County Executive says one solution he won't consider is raising property taxes.

Most of last year's 44 million dollar surplus was used to fix problems from prior administrations, Collins says. 10 million is set aside to cover unexpected contingencies. There is 55 million dollars in what Collins calls a rainy day fund, which he does not plan to dip into.