SAVE VLT Aid for the Town of Hamburg

SAVE VLT Aid for the Town of Hamburg

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Private Citizen started this petition to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, as part of his proposed Executive Budget, wants to end Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) Aid for municipalities outside the City of Yonkers.

VLT Aid is money paid by NYS to communities that host a racino casino with video terminals for gambling. It comes from the revenue generated by the video terminals that is paid to the state.

For fiscal year 2019-20, Hamburg received $865,679 for hosting Hamburg Gaming at the Fairgrounds. Erie County received $288,560.

Batavia is another WNY community concerned about the proposed stoppage of payments.

"Video lottery terminal revenue is the second largest source of revenue we have," said James Shaw, Town of Hamburg Supervisor.

Shaw said if the money is not restored, the town will be forced to cut services, eliminate jobs, or raise property taxes more than 9.65%

Governor Cuomo is trying to close a $6.1 billion gap with his proposed budget. 

"$800,000 to the state budget is a drop in the bucket. $800,000 to the Town of Hamburg is the bucket," said Ryan, who added, "It is bad news for the Town of Hamburg and the County of Erie."

Hamburg is considering sending a resolution to Albany calling for the proposal to be rejected and payments restored. In addition, Supervisor Shaw is hoping to get residents to voice their concerns as well. "We are going to ask our citizens to literally bombard them with pleas for help," said Shaw.

“The Governor’s decision to attempt to balance his budget on the back of the Town of Hamburg and Erie County is unfair at best and could be disastrous at worse. Hamburg is already suffering from revenue loss with the declining viability of shopping centers like the McKinley Mall. Any attempt by New York State to remove what is mostly local revenue from the town’s budget is unacceptable. Erie County residents spend their money locally and deserve their fair share. Hamburg Gaming is a valuable business that is supported through local means as well - by the Town Police when security is required or local emergency responders for medical care, for example. Cutting over $1 million dollars from the Town of Hamburg and Erie County is completely unacceptable in my opinion, and I will be clocking in a resolution strongly opposing these efforts."

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