BUFFALO, N.Y. - There is concern a new proposal from the Department of Homeland Security could have a negative impact on the Western New York economy.
The Department of Homeland Security included a study of the proposal in its budget proposal for 2014.
Currently, Western New Yorkers pay a fee when entering Canada. The money is split between the two countries.
The Department of Homeland Security says the new fee would be used to pay the increased costs for border protection.
Congressman Brian Higgins says it would be a money grab. He sent a letter to DHS secretary Janet Napolitano expressing his concerns.
This is in the early stages and it is not a done deal. In fact at this point we don't even know how much of a fee we could be talking about.
Monday afternoon, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown both expressed concern with the proposal, saying it could have a negative impact on our economy.
Both pointed out Canadian shoppers alone pump in nearly $1 billion a year into our local economy. That means millions of dollars in sales tax revenue.
Lawmakers in Canada are also against any new fee, vowing to apply pressure to their U.S. counterparts.
The study from DHS is expected to last 9 months.