Saratoga Springs hopes for restoration of millions of dollars in state aid

Mark Mulholland & WNYT Staff
Created: January 27, 2021 06:58 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Already faced with a dramatic drop in sales tax revenue because of the pandemic, Saratoga Springs is losing state aid.

The state has told the Spa City it won't be getting the $2.3 million it usually does for hosting a casino.  The city has been down this road this before, but has typically been able to convince the state to restore all or most of it. However, because of fiscal challenges caused by a pandemic, it's not going to be easy.

Every year, cities that are home to video lottery terminals or VLTs, like the Saratoga Casino, get a little something from the state for the effort. The thinking is that the state-sanctioned gambling facilities require more police and fire presence, more upkeep of roads and bridges and other infrastructure.

It was a way for the state to share the wealth with the communities selected to host the casinos. However, this year, because the pandemic shut down or limited most facilities, the governor didn't include VLT aid in the state budget, including $2.3 million Saratoga Springs was expecting.

City Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan says the money helps pay salaries of city workers and needs to be restored.

Knowing the state's in rough shape, she projected getting half of it, but says the city needs it all.

Learn more about how they're hoping to get the state money restored and what they're doing in the event they don't, by watching the video of Mark Mulholland's story.

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