For Release September 30, 2013

BROAD COALITION OF BUSINESS, LABOR, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION LEADERS SUPPORT STATEWIDE PROPOSAL ON CASINOS TO CREATE JOBS, BOOST SCHOOL FUNDING AND HELP LOWER PROPERTY TAXES

NY Jobs Now will urge New Yorkers to vote YES on Proposal 1 to bring more than $1.2 billion spent in neighboring states back to the Empire State

ALBANY— Driven by a shared goal of creating jobs, increasing funding for schools and lowering property taxes, a broad coalition of business leaders, labor unions, economic development professionals and educators announced the formation of NY Jobs Now in support of Proposal 1 on ballots in November, which would authorize up to four new casinos in upstate New York.

“New Yorkers spend more than three billion dollars a year at destination casinos in other states. It’s about time we bring that kind of money home to create jobs, support schools, and take property tax pressure off towns and cities,” said Heather Briccetti, Esq., President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State.

On November 5th, for the first time in state history, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to vote on whether to amend the State Constitution and permit limited commercial casinos for regions in upstate New York.  A "yes" vote will benefit all regions of the state, creating jobs, increasing aid to schools, providing property tax relief, and helping local governments.

With the approval of Proposal 1, the Upstate New York Gaming and Economic Development Act would permit up to four new casinos in the Catskills, Capital Region and the Southern Tier in upstate New York. The Act also implements the settlement of disputes with three Indian tribal casinos that currently operate in Western New York, the North Country, and Central New York. No casinos are authorized for New York City or its metropolitan area.

New York State is surrounded by states where casino gaming is legal. Massachusetts is the latest state to join Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Canada in offering casino gaming. In fact, New Yorkers spend an estimated $1.2 billion in other states to take advantage of gaming and entertainment not offered in New York, which means lost jobs and lost revenue to New York.

The Empire State Development corporation estimates over 10,000 construction and permanent jobs will be created if four new casinos are permitted in upstate New York. Hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions will benefit from offering casino gaming in upstate locations. More than fifty million tourists visit New York City each year, and upstate casinos will provide an additional attraction to bring these visitors to the Catskills and other areas north of the City.

Proposal 1 also means hundreds of millions of dollars in new school aid, property tax relief, and aid to local governments. The New York State Division of Budget estimates $430 million in new tax revenue will be generated every year. Every single dollar of revenue generated by the new casinos will go to education aid, property tax relief, or local government aid. By law, 80 percent of the state tax revenue from these casinos will be used to fund public education or property tax relief in all parts of New York. These new funds will be added to and not replace existing state aid, including lottery funding for schools. All of the remaining state tax revenue from these casinos will go directly to the areas in and around the new casinos. Half will be split between the host municipalities and the host counties, and half will go to surrounding counties in the area.

Still in formation and expected to grow, the leadership of the NY Jobs Now coalition is:

J. Patrick Barrett, CEO of CARPAT Investments
Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Executive
Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State
Byron W. Brown, Mayor of Buffalo
James W. Cahill, President of the New York State Building & Construction Trades Council
Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO
Michael J. Falcone, Chairman Emeritus & Founder, The Pioneer Companies
Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York
Kevin S. Law, President and CEO of the Long Island Association
Richard S. Lefrak, Chairman, President and CEO of the LeFrak Organization
Adam E. Madkour, CEO of the Saratoga Spring Water Company
Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers
Thurman Thomas, President and CEO of Thurman Thomas Sports Training, Hall of Fame former Buffalo Bills running back
William C. Thompson, Former New York City Comptroller, former Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Managing Director at Siebert, Brandford, Shank & Co.
Peter Ward, President of the New York Hotel Trades Council

Contact: Stu Loeser or Frank Thomas, NY Jobs Now
NYJobsNow@stuloeser.com - (212) 634-7469

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