Gov. Paterson's controversial selection of a politically-connected casino company to operate slot machines at the Aqueduct Racetrack could delay a payment of $300 million to the state—widening the Albany budget shortfall to more than $2 billion as the fiscal year nears its end. "For at least five years, the state has counted on revenue from an Aqueduct deal to balance the budget," said Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. "We're still waiting to collect."
"The controversy surrounding the franchisee selection could further delay the receipt of this revenue," he added. According to the Post, it's possible that the Aqueduct Entertainment Group—which is being investigated by federal prosecutors—won't be able to pay the fees by March 31, when the fiscal year comes to a close. In a report issued this afternoon, DiNapoli also noted that other streams of revenue might also fall short, including money from tax collections and $200 million that the city has yet to release from the Battery Park City Authority.
"There's an increased reliance on temporary, non-recurring and risky revenues that essentially push the state's fiscal problems to another day," DiNapoli said. "Families all across New York are dealing with a new economic reality. It's time for the state to do the same."