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State budget boosts VLT revenue

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The city of Saratoga Springs is expected to receive an increase of more than $300,000 in video lottery terminal revenue sharing in the new state budget up for approval later this week.

The VLT revenue sharing to the city will increase from $1.4 million to $1.8 million and annual VLT money for Saratoga County will jump from $499,000 to $609,804, according to the office of state Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna.

Saratoga Springs and eight other municipalities in the state receive VLT revenue sharing for hosting state lottery gambling facilities within their boundaries.

Saratoga Springs Mayor Scott Johnson said on Monday he and other city officials had been lobbying to get back $3.3 million in annual VLT revenue sharing as the city did back in 2008-09.

“It’s good news that it’s in the final budget bill; it’s not tentative anymore,” Johnson said. He said the city appreciated the expected $331,251 VLT revenue increase in the 2013-14 state budget but will continue to push for the full $3.3 million annual funding.

The legislation will increase the city and country’s VLT revenue sharing from 45 percent to 55 percent of the 2008-09 funding level.

Farley is co-chairman of the local assistance conference committee that includes members of the state Senate and state Assembly. Peter Edman, Farley’s executive assistant, said Monday the 2013-14 budget bills dealing with the VLT revenue have been printed and await the Senate’s approval on Wednesday and the state Assembly’s vote on Thursday in Albany.

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