No property tax increase in 2021? Erie County Legislature minority hoping to make it a reality

Posted at 7:35 PM, Dec 01, 2020

CLARENCE, N.Y. (WKBW) — For small businesses and restaurants, 2020 has not been easy.

"It's definitely been challenging and emotionally draining at the same time," Ania Duchon, owner of Sto Lat Bar said.

Sto Lat Bar, a full service restaurant with pierogi fast-dining and a Chrusciki bakery inside, opened in august after months of delays. Only to have to temporarily eliminate indoor dining earlier this month.

"We've laid off a ton of people again," Duchon said, "and that was one of the most difficult things."

The pains seen by Duchon and other small businesses hasn't gone unnoticed by members of the Erie County Legislature, who are looking to give a helping hand.

"(We would) completely eliminate the tax levy increase for every resident in Erie County and also provide further economic stimulus for small businesses and restaurants," Erie County Legislature Minority Leader Joseph Lorigo said.

The proposal by Legislator Lorigo and the Republican Minority Caucus would mean all businesses in Erie County see no increase on their annual property tax bill. The County would also create two grants to help small businesses ($3 million) and restaurants ($2 million).

"Split equally among legislative districts, it would go a long way in ensuring the survival of small businesses while we deal with the uptick in the pandemic," Lorigo said.

The full legislature will vote on the proposal Thursday. If passed, bringing aid to those businesses who need it.

"Any breaks or incentives are very beneficial to us," Duchon said.

For information on Sto Lat, Simply Pierogi, or Chrusciki bakery, visit their website here.