Erie County, area towns feeling financial squeeze in wake of the COVID-19 Pause Order

Erie County

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB)–It’s a grim situation but Erie County and several local municipalities hope to bounce back from the loss of sales tax revenue due to the shutdown. 

The Town of Amherst experienced a $7.38 million loss in sales tax and other revenue from the COVID-19 Pause Order causing an increase in the tax rate by 7.6%.

“So at the end of the day we’re looking at a sizable tax rate increase,” Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa said.

When it comes to taxes, the Town of Hamburg plans to hold the line and not raise taxes despite a loss of more than $100,000 in sales tax per month of the COVID-19 shutdown. 

But, it’s not all bad.

Hamburg Town Supervisor Jim Shaw says, “we’ve had an uptick in revenue at our golf course and our town beach during the summer months, the weather was fantastic, people weren’t traveling and recreation was pretty much limited to what you can do on the homefront.”

On a larger scale, Erie County could see an $82 million deficit along with staff cuts. That’s the latest from County Executive Mark Poloncarz. The budget isn’t final yet, and  legislators are anxiously awaiting the executive’s budget. 

“I’m hopeful that I can work with my colleagues and legislature across the aisle to make sure that residents continue to receive all the services that they’re accustomed to and not have to deal  with any additional taxes,” Legislator Joseph Lorigo said.

The county executive’s budget is expected to be released on October 15.

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