License fee generates $16 million for public schools statewide
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that funding from Tioga Down's $20 million destination resort casino license fee will be distributed to six counties and one municipality in the Southern Tier, along with public schools throughout the state. Additionally, the non-host counties will also receive a portion of the $601,619 in revenues from the del Lago Resort and Casino license.
"This funding will help ease burdens on Southern Tier taxpayers, while helping local governments provide essential services to their residents, and helping to support public education across New York," said Governor Cuomo. "Tioga Downs is a key economic driver in the region and becoming a larger tourism destination – starting with these payments – will benefit the entire region."
The county payouts are one portion of the $20 million from the Tioga license fee that is being distributed across upstate using the formula for casino gaming revenue set forth in the Upstate New York Gaming and Economic Development Act of 2013 -- 80 percent will be applied statewide for school aid/property tax relief; 10 percent will be split between host municipality and county; and 10 percent will go to other counties in the region based on population.
New York State Association of Counties Executive Director Stephen Acquario said, "By reinvesting casino dollars into impacted communities, Governor Cuomo is fulfilling his pledge that smart gaming policy will help the entire state. The allocation of these casino license fees will help these Southern Tier and Finger Lakes communities provide services and infrastructure that will support new tourism and business activity throughout the region."
Tioga County Legislature Chairwoman Martha Sauerbrey said, "Governor Cuomo’s Upstate New York Gaming and Economic Development Act is generating real benefits for Tioga County with the licensure of Tioga Downs. The license fee is a wonderful early Christmas gift for Tioga County that will help support infrastructure projects across the county. This is a promising hint of things to come now that Tioga Downs is operational. We are grateful for this revenue stream, which will help our residents and businesses thrive."
Village of Nichols Mayor Lesley Pelotte said, "We are honored to host Tioga Downs and proud to play an important part in the enactment of Governor Cuomo’s smart gaming policies. The funds from the casino’s license fee will go along way to benefit both the Village and the Town. This is a positive sign of things to come and we are excited for the future."
The first $16 million from the Tioga license fee will be distributed to public schools statewide as part of the state’s education formula. Tioga County and the Town of Nichols will then each receive $1 million for their roles as the resort casino’s host county and municipality, respectively. Other counties inside the Eastern Southern Tier/Finger Lakes region share the remaining 10 percent of the revenue. The additional $601,619 related to the del Lago Resort & Casino that was set-aside pending licensure of Tioga Downs is also being shared among the same counties. This total of $2.6 million is distributed based on population:
- Broome County: $1,396,273
- Chemung County: $289,556
- Schuyler County: $69,528
- Tompkins County: $706,934
- Wayne County: $139,328
Chemung, Schuyler and Wayne counties are partially included in the region due to boundaries established in the Act.