Recently, the Albany Times Union reported that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2021-2022 budget proposal included a tax break for casinos. According to the Times Union, the budget proposal would allow casinos to apply for tax breaks on the basis of financial hardship. The idea for the proposed tax break may have come from a recent report on New York’s gambling industry.
While casino interests may point to the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to cry poverty and seek government assistance, the truth of the matter is that they have been asking for various types of government bailouts for years.
No casino tax breaks should be included in the 2021-2022 budget, nor should such tax breaks be legalized at any other time. It is bad enough that the State of New York rolled out the red carpet for an industry that ruins lives and profits from addictive behavior. There is no need to make matters worse by wasting tax dollars to prop up predatory enterprises. If the Governor and the Legislature wish to dole out tax breaks on the basis of “financial hardship,” they should give those tax breaks to overtaxed individuals and families that actually need them.