New York State Senator Tom O'Mara, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and dozens of other
community leaders from the Southern Tier joined together Thursday at Tioga Downs Casino to urge
New Yorkers to vote "yes" on Proposition #1, which would authorize four additional casinos in
Upstate New York, including one in the Tioga Downs Region. If passed, Proposition #1 will send
millions of dollars in tax revenue to the area to improve schools, help local governments fund critical
services, and relieve property tax pressure.
New Yorkers currently spend more than $3 billion annually at casinos in Canada, Massachusetts,
Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York State-based non tax-paying Indian Casinos.
Proposition #1 would start to bring that money back to New York and create over 10,000 well-paying
new jobs in New York State.
Other speakers at the session included President of SUNY Broome Community College Dr. Kevin
Drumm, Broome County Legislature Chairman Jerry Marinich, Workers United Representative Gary
Bonadonna, Tioga County Chamber President and Legislator Martha Sauerbrey, Tioga County
Economic Development & Planning Director Lee Ann Tinney, Tioga County Legislature Chairman
Dale Weston, Former Nichols Fire Chief Truman Kittle and Goodwill Theater CEO Naima Kradjian,
who detailed how Proposition #1 would benefit New York and the Southern Tier Region.
"Proposal One's approval by the voters would give Tioga Downs the opportunity to compete for a
casino license in upstate New York. Plans are already in the works for a $70 million investment that
would create 300 construction jobs and 200 more permanent jobs," said Senator Tom O'Mara.
“Proposal One could help, in my view, and it’s hard to ignore the potential for new jobs, new local
investment, new local revenue, new local tax relief and, at the same time, new aid for meaningful local
programs and services. Vote yes."
"The Tioga County Chamber of Commerce supports Proposition #1. Tioga County understands the
need to revitalize our Southern Tier area," said Martha Sauerbrey, President of the Tioga Chamber and
a County Legislator. "We need jobs, and we need opportunity. This is a start to reach that goal with the
passage of Prop #1."
"It's not just about jobs or revenue…it's about building a regional tourist economy. We want to bring
people to the area to enjoy the full spectrum of what our region has to offer, including the wineries,
museums and Tioga Downs," said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, who pointed out that Tioga
Downs also supports the local economy by buying their produce from local farmers. She urged
listeners to Vote Yes on Proposition #1 next Tuesday.Additional Quotes from
Proposition #1 Community Support Session Participants
Quote from State Senator John Bonacic: "It is very important for the seven counties in the Tioga region to vote "yes" on the casino amendment on November 5th. A destination casino resort will bring construction and permanent jobs for the region, as well as bringing new education money to the schools, and property tax
relief to landowners throughout that region." - Senator John J. Bonacic (R/C/I)
Quote from William H. Standinger III, Tioga County Legislature
I believe that proposition #1 would be a benefit to any area of NY State that is granted the right
to host a facility that includes a Casino. There has been only positive effects on Tioga County as
a result of Tioga Downs operating in Nichols, and if an opportunity for expansion is allowed to
occur I believe it would positively impact the economy of Tioga County and the surrounding
Quote from Tim Whitesell, Supervisor of the Town of Binghamton: "We are strongly supporting Proposal One because it will bring thousands of living wage jobs to our state, generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to pay for our schools, and provide much needed tax relief to struggling homeowners. The New York Times might think we are isolated – but we’re not. If Proposition #1 will help stimulate the economy of our area by generating thousands of living wage jobs, than we have to be supportive of the measure.
Wait - isn’t that the exact same thing we have been speaking of with drilling? It does have a
familiar tone - exactly. This would mean that everyone signing onto this issue should also be on
the supportive side of opening up drilling in our isolated area of the Southern Tier. Lets all help Governor Cuomo by supporting his agenda while we get his deaf ear he has turned on us in the Southern Tier with respect to opening drilling for our own economic benefit. I will support Proposition #1 only for its benefit we may realize with Tioga Downs. With that said let Albany know that the other issue in the Southern Tier has more deeper routes on a more personal level to each of our property owners. Let our voices be heard.”
Quote from Martha Robertson, Chairperson, Tompkins Co. Legislature plus 4 other
Statement in support of Proposition #1
Right now, New Yorkers are crossing state lines and spending $1.2 billion in casinos in
Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut. We believe it's time to bring that money back to
New York, so we urge passage of Proposition #1 - "Authorizing Casino Gaming" - on the
statewide ballot on November 5. Proposition #1 will establish up to seven full gaming licenses in
Non-Native American Compact Zones, creating jobs, generating new revenue for education and
state aid, and offsetting property taxes.
Full casino gaming will create an estimated 1,000 direct and indirect jobs upstate, and bring in
new revenues allowing for greater state aid to education, thereby enabling a greater offset of
local school taxes. In addition income will also be directly shared with all counties in the region
of a full gaming licensed facility, allowing for a greater offset of county property taxes. According to the NYS Division of the Budget, each year Tompkins County schools would receive almost $985,000, and Tompkins County government would receive almost $1,350,000. These resources would mean significant property tax relief to our citizens. We urge voters to support Proposition #1 because there's no reason that a state border should mean that money is leaving our communities rather than coming in.
Martha Robertson, Chairperson, Tompkins County Legislature, and District 13, Town of Dryden
Jim Dennis, District 15, Towns of Ulysses and Enfield
Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, District 2, City of Ithaca
Frank Proto, District 7, Towns of Danby, Caroline, and Ithaca
Nathan Shinagawa, District 4, City of Ithaca
Quote from Benjamin Margolius of the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group
"Our public mission is to help veterans and their families, and we couldn't do that without Tioga
Downs. For the past three years, the outpouring of support from Tioga Downs has allowed us to
provide support for veterans and families through 75 agencies in 7 counties in NY from Broome
Quote from former Nichols Fire Chief Truman Kittle
"From the 2006 flood, when they helped us go door to door with water and supplies, through the
2011 flood when their employees helped with clean-up and they made a generous contribution
for a new boat for the fire department, they have been a good community partner. They're more
than good neighbors. They're good friends."