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Erie County Comptroller warns about $11.2M budget hole

Posted at 5:36 PM, Jun 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-15 18:28:08-04

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw warned the legislature about a potential budget hole of $11.2 million due to a fall in sales tax revenue. 

Mychajliw says a weak Canadian dollar is to blame for the issue. And since he admits the county can't control Canadian currency or where they shop, the county has to cut down on unnecessary spending. 

"The County Executive wanting to spend $75,000 on a plastic bag study, wanting to spend $125,000 on a new county attorney, $450,000 on a new parks master plan, we don't need that at this point in time, especially with sales tax revenue decreasing," said Mychajliw. 

The last time there was a decline in sales tax revenue was in 2009 during the "Great Recession." 

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz's administration said it manages the budget "carefully and judiciously."

Adding in a statement "The Comptroller has once again issued 'dire' warnings about sales tax shortfalls to the media without ever once communicating his concerns to, or talking with the administration..."

"I am charter mandated to declare a deficit if one exists. I'm not going that far right now, but I also have an obligation to let legislature know exactly the status of our budget and right now it's not good," said Mychajliw.