Genesee County already prepared for potential state cuts in video-lottery aid
Submitted by Philip Anselmo on November 24, 2008 - 10:55am
A proposal to cut community funding for towns and counties that host video-lottery-gaming facilities failed to pass the state Legislature earlier this year. But it is being brought up again by Gov. David Paterson and could take effect April 1, if it is passed. From the Democrat & Chronicle:
Towns and counties with video-lottery-gaming facilities would go bust under a plan by Gov. David Paterson to slash their aid by 50 percent as a way to trim the state's growing budget deficits.
If passed, the cuts could mean a drop from about $14 million to about $7 milion for counties across the state, including Genesee, Erie and Ontario.
Some local governments said they have prepared for a reduction in aid and didn't budget any of the money in the 2009 fiscal year, which for counties runs on calendar year. Aid to municipalities that have racetracks with the slot-machine-like devices started in 2006 under former Gov. George Pataki.
"We never programmed that money until it actually arrived," said Ontario County administrator Geoffrey Astles. Finger Lakes Gaming and Racing is located in Farmington, Ontario County.
The county would get its aid lowered from $844,533 to $422,267, while Farmington would see its aid sliced from $2.5 million to $1.3 million.
Genesee County Manager Jay Gsell told us this morning that the county has already planned for the cuts. In fact, he said, they do not perceive the drop in aid as a budget cut. "We look at it as there will be an inclusion of about $140,000," he said. That amount is compared with about $240,000 from the previous year.
The town of Hamburg stands to see a much more significant drop in their aid. From WNED:
The $1.2-million the town currently gets from Fairgrounds Gaming is supposed to cover the costs of having the gambling operation in Hamburg. Supervisor Steven Walters has asked town department heads to look at possible cuts in case the governor's proposal to cut the state share to $600,000 takes effect.
Check out the article from the Albany Times Union for more details on the proposed cuts.