Legislator Sheila Marcotte Calls on State to Evaluate Decades-Old Lottery Formula, Westchester Not Getting Fair Share
It has been said that your chances of winning the lottery are the same whether you play or don’t play. Legislator Sheila Marcotte ( R )-Eastchester, believes for Westchester County residents that statement has become a reality. Westchester County has been on the losing end of an antiquated state lottery revenue distribution system that has been in use since the lottery’s inception in 1966. According to information received directly from the lottery last year in Westchester County, retailers collected $335.5 million only a fraction of that, $64.6 million was sent back to the county in the form of school aid.
Legislator, Sheila Marcotte has been joined by Minority Leader, Legislator James Maisano ( R )-New Rochelle and Legislator Martin Rogowsky ( D )-Harrison, submitting a proposal for a two pronged resolution aimed at addressing the inequity that is created by the overcomplicated and what she believes to be an outdated formula that is used to calculate the distribution of state lottery revenues among counties.
The first goal of the resolution is to request that the State lawmakers undertake a comprehensive review of the formula by which the proceeds of the New York State Lottery are allocated. our local municipalities and school districts are struggling under crippling mandates, diminished revenues and decreased state and federal aid which has left Westchester County, the highest taxed county in the entire nation. The Board of Legislators and the County Executive are working hard to surrender that designation but we need cooperation from Albany.
The second benefit that this resolution seeks to provide is to allow for local municipal lotteries in cities, towns and villages. The proceeds from these local lotteries would be required to be spent in the community. This is something that the state of Nebraska does quite well (in addition to running a robust and healthy state lottery) it provides for an additional source of revenue to be used within their own communities and will help to ensure that the hard earned dollars earned and spent in Westchester County, stay in Westchester County.
Legislator Marcotte who has fought tirelessly against overspending and overtaxation said, “It is time for the Westchester County Board of Legislators to take a stand for our schools, our kids and our communities. We have borne the weight of Albany’s crushing, unfunded mandates for too long. The formula that the state lottery has been using for nearly half a century to distribute its proceeds is outdated and based on criteria that are immaterial in 2011.”
Marcotte went on to say, “In a ‘home-rule’ state, I think it is entirely appropriate that Westchester and its municipalities have the option of running their own local lotteries, the proceeds of which are created locally and spent locally.”
###Jim Maisano County Legislator JimMaisano@gmail.com 914-636-1621