County Finances In Good Shape - For Now

Posted on September 16, 2011

Finance Director Pete Daniel reported to the commissioners at their August 18 meeting that county finances are in good shape and will likely remain that way through the rest of 2011. 

Daniel initially budgeted an increase in sales tax revenues of 3% over 2010.  Currently, revenues are 5% above the same time last year.  Daniel said he believes this increase will hold through the balance of 2011.

Daniel also reported that 2012 is going to be very difficult financially because of reductions in various types of state funding. 

For example, the state provided Erie County $1.8 million from its Local Government Fund in 2010.  In 2011, it is $1.75 million.  Next year it will only be $1.25 million.

Another source of state revenue is from the Personal Property Tax Reimbursement fund.  Daniel has estimated that the county would receive $400,000 from this fund in 2011.  It has actually received $267,000.  Next year this fund will be entirely eliminated. 

Commissioner Shenigo commented, “It looks like going into 2012, we are already going to have a million dollars less revenue than in 2011.

He then asked about casino tax revenues.  Director Daniel said he expects to see some of those dollars flowing to the county in 2013.  But the county will likely not see the full benefit of those revenues until 2015 at the earliest when all four casinos are expected to be operational. 

Daniel cautioned that casino tax revenues will not replace monies lost due to the phase out of the Personal Property Tax. 

Daniel closed his report saying on a slightly optimistic note, “We’re in a better position than many counties in the state.  We reduced our expenses earlier than many others.”

Click here to view the Revenues/Expenses/Surpluses historical chart (PDF, 16KB)