Sales tax revenue surges in Erie County

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The cash registers have been buzzing for the last two months at the new Cabelas store in Cheektowaga.

Those shoppers helped Erie County take in almost five percent more in sales tax last quarter compared to this time last year.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz considers Cabelas a triple bonus.”We get the sales tax from their construction, we get the wages from their salaries, and then we get sales tax from the purchases that a year and a half ago did not exist.”

The new Courtyard by Marriott Hotel at Canalside is also boosting the sales tax revenue.

On Wednesday of this week, another downtown hotel is opening on Lafayette Square. The Hamister Group is opening the Hilton Garden Hotel in the former National Fuel building.

Poloncarz says an increase in new car sales also helped raise sales tax revenue almost 4% so far this calendar year. “The economy’s been going well and when the economy’s going well people spend more overall, and we think that’s it.”

Cabela’s shopper Mike Dirienzo of Allegany County thinks the economy is picking up. “It’s getting better, slowly but it’s getting better yes.”

What’s the end result of this extra sales tax money ?
Poloncarz says cultural organizations will get at least as much County funding as last year and property taxes won’t go up next year. “So if the value of your home is the same as it was last year, you’re gonna pay the same amount in property taxes as you did the year before.”

That’s music to the ears of Cheektowaga home owner Ben Hartzloff. “You know it’s about time things are stepping in the right direction.”

Poloncarz points out that Erie County is not the only government that benefits from high sales tax revenue. “It’s every one of the towns, cities, villages and school districts. They receive a bit more money than they were anticipating and that’s a good thing for the entire community.”

Each year Erie County gets about $400 million in sales tax revenue and shares 45% of it with the local cities, towns, villages and school districts.

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