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Erie County budget monitoring report reveals robust sales tax growth

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Fri, Jul 6th 2018 05:10 pm
County Department of Budget and Management notes 4.93% growth in sales tax YTD; Erie County ended May with positive variance of over $9.5 million
The Erie County Department of Budget and Management announced the preliminary findings of the budget monitoring report (BMR) for May, which indicated strong growth of 4.93 percent in sales tax through April, and also showed an accompanying positive variance of $9,552,893 for May year-to-date. By comparison, the May 2017 BMR indicated an unfavorable variance of $8,478,351, which means the May position for Erie County has improved by $18,031,244 when comparing the two years.
"The budget monitoring report for May is great news for Erie County and underscores my administration's prudent budgeting and scrutiny of county finances. Each year, we work to provide realistic estimates of sales tax growth as an important part of forming the county budget. A healthy increase in sales tax receipts of nearly 5 percent over that of 2017 is above our conservative estimates, but is welcome and will be a boost to Erie County," Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said. "The overall positive variance reported by the Budget Department, of which that sales tax growth is a major part, is also welcome. Erie County Medicaid costs were down through May, largely due to greater than expected 2018 savings from provisions of the Affordable Healthcare Act, so that benefit is also reflected in the May BMR and county residents saw a savings of over $2 million there. Taken together, these outcomes reinforce our conservative county budget and reaffirm our close stewardship of Erie County's finances."
The positive variance resulting from lower than expected Medicaid costs amounted to $2,014,911, or 21.1 percent, of the total $9.5 million variance. The net sales tax portion of the positive variance is $2,602,802, or 27.3 percent, of the positive variance total. Monthly budget monitoring reports are required by the Erie County code and are submitted to the Erie County Legislature and comptroller.

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