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OTB chief: Higher tax at Batavia Downs means lower payments to local WNY governments

Local governments would receive more money from Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. if its Batavia Downs Gaming site was taxed at the same rate as other sites in the state.

Western OTB President and CEO Henry F. Wojtaszek called for tax parity legislation Wednesday. He said the state taxes the gaming center in Batavia at 65 percent, the highest rate in the state, while Hamburg Gaming at Buffalo Raceway pays 59 percent.

After-tax profits from Western OTB are divided among 15 counties and the cities of Buffalo and Rochester, based on population. If Batavia Downs were taxed at the same rate as Buffalo Raceway, Wojtaszek said, Western OTB would have paid Erie County $963,487 this year instead of $545,984, and Niagara County would have received $312,073 instead of $175,492.

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