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August 2013 Column - Mid-year budget hearings show surplus for 2013


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

Erie County Legislator John J. Mills announces that his 8th annual Hot Dog Roast Fundraiser will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 26 at the Collins Public Library, 2341 Main St., Collins. The event...

Erie County Legislator John J. Mills is pleased to announce that the 3rd annual Boston Free Library Hot Dog Roast Fundraiser, held June 19, raised $1,006 to support programming at the library. The donation was presented to Library Director Laura...

Erie County Legislator John J. Mills announces that his annual Hot Dog Roast Fundraiser will be held from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 16, at the Eden Library, 2901 E. Church St., Eden. The event will feature Dave Fultz, who will perform...

Erie County Legislator John J. Mills announces that his annual Hot Dog Roast Fundraiser will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 10, at the Concord Public Library, 18 Chapel St., Springville. The event will feature a book sale, bake sale and...

As many families begin to enjoy summer, I wanted to remind you to take advantage of the Erie County’s parks system and the many recreational activities offered.

oneilj - Posted on 08 August 2013

The Legislature was quite busy throughout the month of July. We held our last sessions and committee meetings before the summer recess, in addition to the mid-budget hearings. With more than half the year now behind us, we look back of what transpired, while keeping focus on obstacles that may lie ahead.

 

We have learned that as predicted, collected sales tax is short of the County Executive’s forecasted amount. Erie County will continue to monitor those figures and we may need to make adjustments if the county doesn’t meet our targeted revenue total for the year.

 

During my tenure as a Legislator I have seen that each budget has its ups and downs. Fortunately, this year many of the county’s departments are “up” and reported they are on track to operate within their budget for 2013. Some departments are operating below budget. Overall, the county currently has a surplus, very good news as we go into the second half of the year.

 

I anticipate that we’ll see much of the same trends with sales tax and spending from now through Dec. 31. If necessary, modifications can be made to ensure a balanced budget. As a member of the Legislature’s Finance and Management Committee, I want to thank the county’s directors and commissioners for providing the Legislature with a thorough analysis of their department’s current status. This information is extremely important as we are only a few months away from the County Executive releasing his proposed 2014 budget.

 

Last year, the County Executive requested an $8 million tax increase as part of his $1.4 billion budget. Through a bipartisan effort, six members of the Legislature blocked that tax increase, presenting taxpayers with a budget that held the line on taxes. I am a firm believer that government needs to lead by example. Many of our residents continue to struggle in this tough economy and many families are still affected by unemployment, rising costs and other factors. It would have been inappropriate to ask taxpayers for more.

 

With an approved, balanced budget, the County was still able to open the beaches, the libraries’ are offering their summer programs and critical services are still being provided. The county was not devastated by saving residents from a tax increase.  

 

The county’s departments are ready to serve you. If you have any questions about a department, please contact my office at 858-8850 or email john.mills@erie.gov. I am also inviting residents to attend the District Outreach Meetings scheduled with the Departments of Senior and Social Services to learn more about how they can assist you. Presentations will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, at Concord Town Hall, in the auditorium, 86 Franklin St., Springville, and at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21 at Orchard Park Town Hall, in the basement, S-4295 S. Buffalo St., Orchard Park. Representatives will be available to answer questions. If you are interested in attending, please contact my office to make a reservation.