Senate Passes Current Additional 1% Sales Tax Extender For Erie County

William T. Stachowski

January 25, 2005

(ALBANY, NY) Today, the State Senate passed Erie County’s temporary additional 1% sales and use tax in order to maintain stable sales and use tax collections to meet operating costs of County government. This bill was passed in the State Assembly on January 24th 2005.

"The State of New York continues to face fiscal challenges, and Erie County government is not immune from its own financial difficulties," said Senator Dale M. Volker. "This sales tax extender for an additional 1% has assisted Erie County to continue in providing county services for our residents. The need for this extender in Erie County is still there and that is why both Houses of the Legislature continues to support this legislative measure."

The County of Erie has imposed an additional one percent sales and compensating use tax within the County since March 1, 1985. The tax was imposed to avert a fiscal crisis in the County in that year. Subsequent extensions of the tax were authorized in 1988, and in each year thereafter, to maintain financial stability of County government. This extension is necessary to continue Erie County's financial stability during 2005. Additionally, such tax will not become effective unless enacted by a 2/3rd majority vote of the Erie County Legislature.

In order to clarify matters, this bill (S.216) is not connected to the so-called "Giambra Penny" proposal, which seeks to add an additional 1% on Erie County taxpayers for sales and use taxes. The State Legislature will consider County Executive Giambra’s sales tax proposal once the Erie County Legislature is able to come to a 2/3rd’s majority on its Home Rule message on his sales tax increase request that is procedurally required by both the Senate and Assembly. Once this Home Rule Message is secured, the Senate and Assembly will be prepared to pass the appropriate legislation in order for its implementation by the Erie County Executive and the Erie County Legislature.