Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) said today that as part of the budget the Legislature will restore Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) aid to the city of Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County.
Saratoga will receive $1.5 million and Saratoga County will receive $498,000 -- about 45 percent of the VLT funding it received in 2008 before it was eliminated.
Restoration of VLT funds to Saratoga has been a top priority for Tedisco. The Assemblyman has sponsored legislation to accomplish that goal (A.1500) and in January, he wrote the Governor in support of reinstating VLT funds. The issue also was brought up in conversation with the Governor at a February breakfast meeting, where Cuomo said he’d consider it.
“When our conference questioned the Governor about restoring VLT monies to the municipalities that hosted them, the Governor stayed true to his word. He went back and restored funding of VLT aid. This will be a shot in the arm for Saratoga Springs and is a real win for property taxpayers,” said Tedisco, former Assembly Minority Leader and Current Assistant Minority Whip.
Tedisco noted that the old formula had caused Saratoga County to lose 100 percent of its VLT aid. This equated to a loss of $4.4 million to the communities and county of Saratoga, of which $3.3 million had been previously allocated to the City of Saratoga Springs. In contrast, Genesee, Ontario, and Tioga counties lost 50 percent of their VLT aid under the new formula, while Erie, Sullivan and Oneida counties, as well as the City of Yonkers, did not lose any VLT aid.
“We never counted Saratoga out for restoring state VLT aid and now I’m pleased to say that Saratoga is back in the race!” said Tedisco.