The 2019 year-end balance sheet for Erie County looks pretty rosy, benefiting again from a growing economy.
The surplus is expected to be roughly $8 million, said Erie County Budget Director Robert Keating. He credited higher-than-anticipated sales tax revenue for helping to generate the year-end surplus.
In addition, Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw announced that thanks to his office's investment in Treasury bills, the county last year reaped $1.2 million in investment earnings, the county's highest amount in at least a decade.
Though the year-end figures come as good financial news, they are not quite as robust as at the end of 2018. Last year, county legislators argued over how to spend roughly $14 million in unencumbered year-end money from 2018. About $550,000 was saved by the Legislature in county reserves, though lawmakers came under heavy criticism from residents for not saving more or finding a way to return more money to taxpayers.
This spring, the Legislature will again deliberate over budget-balancing amendments that set the spending and savings priorities for the 2019 year-end surplus.