Sen. Ranzenhofer: Executive Budget Proposal Lowers Tax Rate for Batavia Downs

Written by on February 22, 2018

Press Release:

New York State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst) announced today that the Executive Budget proposes a lower tax rate for Batavia Downs. The proposal would provide $1.4 million in tax relief.

“The Executive Budget proposal is a first step to leveling the tax playing field for Batavia Downs. Lowering the tax rate will make the local facility more competitive and ensure a fairer share of dollars are returned to taxpayers through our local governments. I will continue to advocate for establishing tax parity between Batavia Downs and other gaming facilities across the state,” said Ranzenhofer.

Gaming Operation 2017-2018 Fiscal Year: Portion of Net Winnings (%) Executive Budget Proposal:
Portion of Net Winnings (%)
Batavia Downs 35 37
Vernon Downs 41 42
Hamburg Gaming 41 42

The Executive Budget also eliminates mandated spending levels of 10% for marketing expenses and 4% for capital improvements. Under existing state law, the oldest nighttime harness track in the country pays one of the highest effective tax rates among gaming centers in the region.

In January, Senator Ranzenhofer introduced legislation (S7397) in the State Senate that would lower Batavia Down’s taxes paid to New York State by increasing the facility’s portion of net winnings from 35% to 41%. If enacted, the act would take effect on April 1, 2019.

Batavia Downs Gaming, operated by WROTB, is a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility. WROTB is a public benefit corporation–owned by 15 Western New York counties, including Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, and Wyoming, as well as the cities of Rochester and Buffalo. Since its inception, WROTB has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in operating and surcharge revenues to the residents of those participating municipalities.

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