BUFFALO, N.Y. — People who live in Erie County will be paying for raises for some leaders that got approved by the legislature Thursday.
The county executive, sheriff, and comptroller will get the pay hikes at the beginning of their next term.
The salary for Erie County executive will jump to $118,000 -- a raise of $15,000.
For comptroller -- $94,000 a raise of $14,000.
And the job of Erie County sheriff will pay $89,000 -- a $10,000 hike.
REPORTER: Why do you personally feel and why do others in the caucus feel that this is needed?
"I think we are a $1.7 billion operation and just like the private sector would do I think it's prudent we review the compensation to make sure our compensation package is as competitive as it can be," said Legislator Peter Savage.
In 2014, the Republican-controlled legislature rejected pay raises.
But now, with Democrats in control, they've approved them.
Legislator Thomas Loughran was the only Democrat to vote against the raises, which were recommended by the Citizens Salary Review Commission -- a bipartisan panel -- that found salaries for some elected officials to be low.
These offices have not received a wage increase since 1996.
REPORTER: In most industries, 20 years more than 20 years is a long time to not have a salary increase how do you respond to that?
"I think any time you run for elected office you're getting into it for public service, not for a career and you run for that office you know the salary," said Legislator Joseph Lorigo.
After the raises go into effect, salaries will go up every year for county executive, sheriff, comptroller and clerk based on the Consumer Price Index.
REPORTER: What other government can you think of other than of course Erie County now ties annual salary to the Consumer Price Index?
"What I would say is clearly there was a flaw in the system that for 23 years there was no adjustment," Savage said.
He couldn't name one.
"Those small changes compound against each other and eventually you have high taxes like we do in New York State," Lorigo said.
These raises do not go into effect immediately.
Whoever wins the race for Erie County executive later this year will be the first to see the pay raise in 2020.
The offices of sheriff and comptroller are up for election in 2021 and the pay for those offices will increase after that.