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Modified: October 1, 2018 11:20am
Created: October 1, 2018 11:18am

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October 1, 2018

Students, teachers and families across Erie County benefit from tax sharing agreement, increased revenue

School districts across Erie County are receiving more revenue than expected so far this year, thanks to a strong economy leading to an increase in sales tax revenue.  That is what Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw reported in his update to Erie County school districts on rising sales tax revenue and the portion they receive through the 1977 Sales Tax Agreement. School districts across the county saw an increase in sales tax revenue for the third quarter of the year. This critically important revenue stream in part funds programs and services in schools, benefiting teachers, students and their families.

Comptroller Mychajliw reports approximately $37,615,755 was shared amongst the 30 school districts in Erie County for the third quarter of the year. Sales tax revenue is used in a wide variety of ways, decided by each district. CLICK HERE to see the total for each school district’s share for the 2018 third quarter.

“I’m a former public school teacher.  Districts are being asked to do more, with less.  Every dollar counts in the classroom.  Sales tax revenue directly benefits children in our schools.  I’m pleased to report sales tax revenue is increasing thanks to our roaring economy, and that is a benefit to our entire community. This additional funding helps school districts absorb cost increases, many of which are the result of unfunded mandates from the state and federal government, without placing the burden entirely on the property taxpayer.  In Erie County, we pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation and taxpayers can’t afford to pay more, so the trend in increasing sales tax revenue is welcome news made better because it is the result of an improving economy,” said Comptroller Mychajliw, proud alumni of Buffalo Public School #33 and the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. “I support the sales tax sharing agreement because we have great schools and great educators who work extremely hard. With a new school year underway, our students and schools need to know that we support them and know this funding is making a difference.”

The amount a school district receives in sales tax revenue from the County was set in agreement between the County, and the three Cities of Buffalo, Lackawanna, and Tonawanda.  The agreement, signed in 1977, forbids the three cities from enacting their own city-wide sales tax which they have the authority to do under state law, in exchange for the county sharing some of the revenue they collect with them, other towns and villages and school districts.

Comptroller Mychajliw noted that the county is seeing an increase in sales tax revenue despite a decrease in international bridge traffic. While Canadian shoppers have traditionally provided a boost to the local economy, the Comptroller concludes that this rise is thanks, in part, to Federal Tax Reform, that is putting more money in the paychecks and pockets of taxpayers, who are reinvesting that into local businesses.   

So far this year, for the 30 schools across Erie County, which includes city, suburban and rural districts, have received $107,730,408 in 2018.