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Comptroller Mychajliw's Statement on ECFSA Report about Revised Four-Year Plan

Comptroller Mychajliw Statement: ECFSA

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw issues a statement concerning the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority’s report concerning the administration’s revised four-year plan

(Buffalo) – “The Office of Erie County Comptroller wholeheartedly agrees with the Control Board’s positions in their review of the revised four-year plan.  I feel vindicated by their review.  We share a grave concern with the county’s reliance on volatile sales tax revenues to balance budgets. 

There is no one that believes the administration’s sales tax revenue estimates are going to grow at the projected rate.  This can potentially leave a big hole in future budgets.  I have this year, along with Wall Street and now the Control Board, sounded the alarm on the county’s reliance on risky sales tax revenues to balance budgets.

I am also pleased that the Control Board shares my concerns about the continued reliance of using undesignated fund balance to balance budgets.  That is like a family using their savings account to pay bills.  Eventually your money runs out but bill payments remain. 

Deficits exist when recurring revenues do not cover recurring expenses.  It is risky to continue relying on undesignated fund balance to cover recurring expenses.

The fiscal challenges facing Erie County are serious.  We did not have enough cash to pay bills on day one of my administration.  We are forced to borrow at high levels not seen since the Red/Green budget crisis.  Erie County did not meet its projected sales tax revenue targets for 2012 and 2013 projections are more than likely never going to be reached.

I remain committed to working collaboratively with the administration, Legislature, and Control Board to turn Erie County into a model of fiscal discipline.

The blame game needs to stop.  Strong leadership needs to begin.  We are now presented with an opportunity to work together to balance future budgets and do what is right for taxpayers.  I encourage the administration to stop finger pointing and work with our office, the Legislature, and Control Board to close out-year gaps. 

I remain committed to working in a bi-partisan manner to solve these very serious financial issues that I sounded the alarm on earlier this year.  The Control Board shares my concern, as evidenced by their review of the revised four-year plan.”

Stefan I. Mychajliw
Erie County Comptroller
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