While Still Below Budget, Executive Recommends Caution on Largest Revenue and Urges Comptroller not to Overreact
ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz’s administration reported that for the first three and one half months of 2013 the County has experienced a sales tax growth of 2.18% compared to the same period in 2012.
While this growth is positive, the county executive expressed caution and noted that the Division of Budget and Management is monitoring the sales tax revenue needed to meet the 2013 budget target. Although year-to-date sales tax receipts are under budget, they have increased again in the latest period. So far in 2013, sales tax receipts have shown an up-and-down level, with no discernable trend.
"It is encouraging and positive that sales tax revenues continue to grow,” said Poloncarz. “Unfortunately, sales tax revenue fluctuates, sometimes wildly, and the latest receipts from New York State demonstrate that pattern. However, no one should take that as any reason to panic about being on-or-under budget so early in the year.”
Referring to recent statements by the county comptroller, Poloncarz added, “Over six years as Comptroller, when it comes to sales tax, I’ve seen it all: from more than 7% annual growth to no annual growth. I would encourage Mr. Mychajliw to take a more measured approach in his comments regarding the usual fluctuations in this volatile revenue stream, rather than express dire warnings based on preliminary statistics for the year.”
As the County administration has previously warned, it is still very early in the year and the first quarter of sales tax revenue is traditionally the lowest of the year.
The County’s 2013 Budget includes sales tax revenue totaling $720.9 million, of which the County is budgeted to receive $394.6 million and local governments, school districts and the NFTA will receive $326.3 million, providing a critical but unpredictable revenue source for local governments and school districts.