New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing a $2 million tax hike on tracks, off-track betting, and simulcasting operations as a way to increase funding to the state agency that regulates the industry.
Cuomo, in his 2014 budget plan unveiled Jan. 21, called for raising the current surcharge on handle from .5% to .6% to "ensure that regulation of this industry becomes self-supporting.''
The tax increase comes as Cuomo also proposed a funding increase for the state Gaming Commission from $106 million presently to $114.6 million in the upcoming fiscal year—due partly to the hiring of new staff to regulate the increase in casino gambling in the state. The agency regulates everything from the horse racing industry and lotteries to Indian casinos and charitable gambling operations.
The budget also calls for the "collection of market origin fees from out-of-state advance deposit wagering entities on all wagers accepted from NY residents and applying the fees as credits against the racing regulatory fee paid by in-state tracks and off-track betting locations.'' No details were immediately available on that proposal.
The budget also extends current video lottery terminal capital awards for operators to encourage facility upgrades and extending present pari-mutuel tax rates for one year.
"Regulation of the horse racing industry is intended to be self-financing--paid for entirely by the industry. However, the cost of regulating the industry has consistently exceeded the revenues collected by the industry. This bill ensures that assessments on the industry are sufficient to meet the cost of regulation,'' states a Cuomo administration budget memo accompanying the legislation increasing the surcharge.