Updated: 10/18/2013 8:13 PM
Created: 10/18/2013 7:25 PM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean
Local lawmakers say that Monroe County could see $15 million each year if the casino referendum on the ballot next month passes.
Fifteen million sounds like a lot of money, but we broke down where that money would go and we want you to decide if it's enough to make a difference.
Of that $15 million, $11 million would be split between all 18 suburban and rural school districts. Average that out and each one will get roughly $600 thousand. That's a drop in the bucket when you consider the average school district budget in Monroe County is $80 million. That brings us to the $4 million left for the county. That amounts to less than one percent of the county's $1.2 billion dollar budget.
Friday, Assemblyman Joe Morelle led a group of elected officials and labor leaders urging you to vote yes for casinos. They say the $15 million project to Monroe County will improve schools, help local governments pay for critical services and relieve property tax pressure.
News10NBC Berkeley Brean asked, "Fifteen million sounds great but how on earth does that reduce the burden on people at all?"
Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle says, "Well it's $15 million less that have to come out of their general fund or their property tax bills."
When News10NBC asked Morelle if he thought the money would ultimately reduce the burden on taxpayers, he said, "Well that's ultimately up to the local governments to figure out what do to with their shares. But I think many of them will use it to reduce or eliminate increases in property taxes."
Now consider this: None of these state run casinos would be built in Rochester, but we would still get that projected $15 million. Morelle said New Yorkers spend $1.2 billion on casinos outside the state every year. Theoretically, that money would stay in state. These are all issues for you to consider when you vote in November.