Erie County Council is meeting this weekend to hopefully make cuts to the budget.
The proposed budget includes a 14 percent tax hike which would be the highest increase in decades. November, 30 marks the deadline for Erie County Council to vote on the budget.
Council members met this weekend in hopes of making more cuts to the budget as the budget stands it could lead to a 14 percent tax increase.
Which would be highest increase in decades.
“We looked at everything line by line and council made a multitude of changes that they thought would be better for the budget itself mostly cuts and we’re going to start again Saturday morning and we’re going to work on all special revenue funds,” said Paul Lichtenwalter, Erie County director of finance.
County Councilman Brian Shank said he believes there’s a way to avoid a tax increase.
“We have a $35 million surplus of money sitting in our savings account for a rainy day. We’re only required to have two months of savings in the account. Could we do this and make it all go away? I think we could but to get all seven of us with our political positions, that’s going to be tough,” Shank said.
Shank said the potential tax increase is the result of inflation. He said the county gave employees a raise to retain staff.
“We tried to bring the wages up to recruit more people we have hundreds of openings in Erie County Government that we can’t fill. Why is that? The pay isn’t there. They can literally go to Walmart or Target or go somewhere else and make more money than work for county government,” Shank went on to say.
The county executive’s office referred us to earlier comments made by Brenton Davis about the issue.
The county is hoping to generate $12.1 million in revenue.