Erie County Leaders Cut Property Taxes, Repeal Winter Sales Tax on Home Utility Bills
For the first time in more than 20 years, the Erie County Council and administration have signed an agreement to reduce the amount of property taxes the county collects from taxpayers.
Additionally, the legislature and county executive Mark Polonkaerts negotiated terms that exempted all sales tax on homeowners’ utility bills during the coldest months of winter, December, January and February. This includes taxes on everything from electricity and natural gas to propane, kerosene, wood and coal.
Congress is expected to vote unanimously in favor of repealing the residential energy tax during its final session on Thursday before recess in August.
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Based on the agreement reached by all sides, next year’s budget will reduce property taxes by $1 million. This does not mean that all county residents will experience a reduction in county property tax bills. Considering the $2 billion budget, the rate of decline is modest. However, this means more residents are likely to experience a stabilization or decrease in their property tax bills compared to the last eight years, when county tax levies increased by 2% to 5%.
Republican lawmakers in Congress estimate that the county would give up about $8.5 million in estimated tax revenue next year under the deal in exchange for raising property taxes by an average of $10 million a year.
Perhaps equally important to county residents would be to eliminate all sales taxes on household utility bills during the coldest three months of winter, when utility bills typically soar. The state no longer imposes a sales tax on residential electricity and home heating fuel. However, the county charges him a sales tax of 4.75%.
Buffalo Bills Reorganize Front Office
Terry Pegula sworn in as president, Ron LaQuire stepped down: Owner Terry Pegula will become president of the Buffalo Bills, and top executive Ron Laquire will leave the team. The Bills announced a front-office restructuring Wednesday afternoon, describing Laquia’s departure as a “farewell.” Laquia served as Bills’ executive vice president and COO, effectively running the business side of the team since co-owner Kim Pegula’s cardiac arrest in June 2022.read more
The Analysis: Terry Pegula’s New Leader Takes Place, Ron Laquire Steps Down. What does that mean for the Buffalo Bills?: Terry Pegula is setting up a new leadership team for the Buffalo Bills, with the owner himself at the center of it. Let’s take a look at what we know about the impact of the change on Bills’ operations.read more
Let’s take a look at the Buffalo Bills’ “new board of directors.” The Bills announced Wednesday that executive vice president and chief operating officer Ron LaQuire, who was at the center of the organization’s efforts to secure a financing deal for the new stadium, is stepping down. The team named a “new management board.”read more
what we are talking about
Erie County Clerk Alleges Audit Obstruction Charges Unjustified: Erie County Clerk Michael “Mickey” Kearns knew he would be back at work this week with music. Mr. Kearns knew what was going to happen, but the day before Mr. Kearns’ wedding, a scathing audit was released by the General Accounting Office. At the time, he didn’t do much more than make a cursory statement, but now that the honeymoon is over, he says:read more
Buffalo Common Council president and church pastor Darius Prigen, who was accused of sexual abuse, said in the lawsuit: Buffalo Common Council President Darius Prigen has been accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a parishioner of his longtime pastor, True Bethel Baptist Church, in a new lawsuit filed under the Adult Survivors Act. The woman who filed the complaint was 45 years old in 2020 when the abuse began, she said. The Buffalo News has not released her name because it claims she was a victim of sexual assault. Mr Prigen said Wednesday that he did not recognize the name of the accusers and called the accusations “unfounded.”read more
Ho Chul, who faces a cut in donation limits, is still raising $4.5 million for his reelection bid. Ho-Chol’s campaign also announced that she had raised $1.5 million for the state Democratic Party, which has close ties to the governor’s campaign. State Democratic and other party committees continue to enjoy much higher contribution limits.read more
Rod Watson: The Black History Council Weapons Teachers In Its Battle For Truth: Rod Watson writes, “A concerted effort to indoctrinate children with feel-good tales about a past that never existed is perilous because it penalizes students of all races who are entitled to learn the truth.”read more
New York State Allows Farmers to Sell Pots at “Farmer’s Showcase” The Cannabis Control Board Secretariat on Wednesday agreed to allow three or more producers to work with retailers to sell cannabis in temporary off-store locations and during events.read more
House Passes Langworthy Amendment to Protect Flight 3407 Safety Rules: A Buffalo Area House delegation led by Rep. Nicholas A. Langworthy on Wednesday blocked efforts to change flight safety rules Congress passed 13 years ago following the 2009 crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 in Clarence.read more
Strip club owner fires lawyer over defense strategy in bribery, sex trafficking and drug trafficking cases: U.S. District Judge Lawrence Bilardo, whose approval is required to exonerate Steven M. Cohen from the case, has asked Cohen or his client, Peter Jerus, to file an affidavit within a week. He said he will decide what to do next after understanding more of the differences between the two.read more
WKBW’s Mike Randall will retire next month after a record 40 years of service. “When I started working there in 1983, I had no idea that I would be working there for three years, let alone 40,” said Randall. “It was a great ride.”
More clouds than sun: Partly cloudy to mostly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. The peak of the mid 80’s.read more
Picnics, jazz and drive-ins: Relax with these summer outdoor date ideas: You don’t have to be so creative to have fun during the summer. Ideas are everywhere. And sometimes the best dates are the simplest: food, fresh air, and a little entertainment.read more
M&T CFO Darryl Bible expects inflation to subside: “We are very close to the peak, if not the peak, of rising interest rates right now,” said Darryl Bible, chief financial officer of M&T Bank. “There may be one or two more raises, but I think we’re there at this point.” Read more
Eastern Hills Mall begins eviction of tenants to make way for new town center. Eastern Hills Mall is taking a big step in its plans to transform Clarence Mall into a town center, a walkable and livable community with homes, shops, restaurants and hotels.read more
Waterfront Developer Anonymity Issued by Lakefront Boulevard Neighborhoods: A proposal to build 26 townhomes on the last remaining green space in the Waterfront Village had already come under criticism from neighbors for losing parking and snow dumping space at the end of Lakefront Boulevard. But neighbors also said they didn’t even know who was behind the project because the developer spoke only through the architect and refused to be identified.read more
Bills Position Preview: While other questions remain at cornerback, Tre Davies White impressed: The Buffalo Bills’ cornerback room has had the fewest turnovers on the team this offseason, but it still begs one of the biggest questions: Who will start across from Tredavis White?read more
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