At a scheduled meeting of the North Tonawanda Common Council on Tuesday, Alderman-at-Large Austin Tylec presented a resolution requesting the Niagara County Legislature to take swift action to aid the city as it prepares its already delayed budget. The sales tax revenue his city receives is expected to include a $1 million revenue gap Tylec estimates due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
“I sat down with the city accountant, we went over the numbers, and I believe it’s safe to say that we are going to see about a $1 million gap in sales tax revenue this fiscal year,” Tylec said. “And that’s only one of the issues we’re facing.”
In his resolution, Tylec referenced an “unassigned fund balance” of approximately $25 million in the county’s coffers as per the 2019 annual audit report. Tylec said he believes these unassigned fund balance reserve funds are intended to support municipalities during unforeseen financial hardships.
“If this isn’t a prime example of what the reserves are intended to be used for, I don’t know what is,” he said. “We have a duty to our residents to ensure that we provide the crucial services they rely on, and the county should do their part in making sure we’re able to do so.”
The resolution serves as a formal request for a $1,000,000 payment from the county to the City of North Tonawanda. Any transferal of monies will require a vote of the Niagara County Legislature. Tylec said he hopes to move this item through the Common Council quickly and that the county will expeditiously heed this request.