Proposed 2021 Erie County budget shows effects of pandemic on revenue

Erie County

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — On Thursday morning, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz presented the proposed 2021 budget.

“It was a very difficult budget to prepare,” Poloncarz said, noting the results of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposed budget for 2021 is $1,473,105,849. This is a significant drop from the enacted 2020 budget of $1.55 billion.

This proposed budget calls for the elimination of 98 jobs.

“It’s going to be a little bit more leaner and efficient for county government because we’re going to have less people providing the same amount of services,” Poloncarz says.

The County Executive says the majority of funding would go toward Health and Human Services, including Social Services. This totals $763 million, which is about 47 percent of the budget.

Sales tax makes up most of Erie County’s revenue. This year, the county is seeing a 2.3 percent reduction in sales tax revenue, compared to 2019.

Growth had originally been projected, but as a result of the pandemic, revenue is down. Poloncarz says it didn’t drop as much as expected, though.

The property tax rate would decrease six percent under the proposed budget. On average, it would be $4.43 per thousand.

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.

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