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Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw is again warning about flagging sales tax totals, saying it would be “irresponsible” for the Legislature to ignore that December collections were down 6 percent.

“Only time will uncover the existence of a real problematic trend,” the comptroller said in a report to the Legislature, “but from information we have today, it is clear that we must be very conscious about spending.”

Peter Anderson, spokesman for County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, noted that Mychajliw had approved the administration’s sales tax estimates back in November and at other times. But he also noted that the administration has consistently acknowledged the “flagging” returns from the sales tax.

“In spite of that, we are expecting to end 2013 with a modest surplus,” Anderson said.