(ERIE. P.A. - WICU/WSEE/CW) – The City of Erie is projecting a small surplus of $80,981 by the end of year.

Wednesday night, Erie Mayor Joe Schember presented his Mid-Year Budget Address during an Erie City Council.

 Schember says, the surplus is a result of lower than projected expenses on the 2019 budget.

When the mayor last presented the mid-year report in 2018, the city was facing a $1.1 million defecit.

Even with the forecasted revenue, Schember told councilmembers, the city is still not in the clear of its other financial problems.

Currently, salaries and benefits make up roughly 87 percent of the budget.

 

Also on the revenue side, Schember revealed the city is experiencing a shortage of over $1 million in income tax revenue, which he says is due to a “lag” in the collection process by the city’s tax collector, Berkheimer and Associates.

 

Though, he says the money should be recouped by the end of the year, or by January 2020.


Schember says the city will continue to work with its hired financial planners, the Philadelphia-based Public Financial Management, to make more cuts, and increase revenue.


When asked if he had a goal for the end of the year, Schember said the following:

 

"We honestly haven't set a goal, along that line, I’d like to grow, and personally I’d like it to at least double where we're at now, so at least $160,000.” said Schember “And if we can get further than that, I'd definitely would like to do that, because the more we can save now, the more it helps us down the road."

---ALSO FROM THE MEETING:

Schember announced the city has received 16 Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) applications since it was brought into effect last month.

Six (6) have been for commercial projects, while 10 have been for residential.

Erie City Councilwoman Liz Allen challenged Schember to publicly disclose who applied for the permits, Schember could not provide those details at the time, to which Allen said, council will be “following up” on the topic.