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Majority Leader Lorigo announces significant community development contribution from Batavia Downs


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On October 11, Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo, Chairman of the Legislature's Finance and Management Committee, joined Henry Wojtaszek, President/CEO of Batavia Downs Gaming, Thurman Thomas, Hall of Fame former Buffalo Bills running back, Vice Chair of NYS Tourism Advisory Council and Batavia Downs Ambassador, Lee Zarpentine, Labor Relations Representative of United Public Service Employees Union (UPSEU), Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw and Mike Nolan, COO of Batavia Downs to announce Erie County has received $545,984 from Batavia Downs Gaming in the second quarter of 2017 alone. 

This money goes directly into the county's operating budget, and helps defer costs for Erie County taxpayers on everything from Veterans’ Services to community development.  Batavia Downs is the only municipal-owned casino in New York State, and is taxed higher than privately owned gaming facilities.  This prevents Batavia Downs from investing nearly double the amount of money into the community as they already do. 

Recently, both the NYS Senate and Assembly passed legislation that would level the playing field for the tax rate, but Governor Cuomo vetoed it.  I am calling on Gov. Cuomo to reverse his position, and sign the legislation that would allow Batavia Downs to invest more money into Erie County and surrounding communities.  If the Governor truly cared about Western New York and helping our residents, he would sign this legislation today.