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Downstate Assemblyman Backtracks About Bills

4:33 PM, Mar 13, 2013   |    comments
Westchester Assemblyman Steve Katz who expressed concern about giving $60M earlier this week took a picture with Assemblyman Sean Ryan… wearing a Bills hat.
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Buffalo, N.Y. "I mean why are we doing this?" that was the question Westchester Assemblyman Steve Katz asked on Monday about the state paying $60 million toward the Buffalo Bills new lease.

Katz spoke during the Assembly's debate on the state budget that will take effect on April first.

Katz says he's a huge football fan, but at a time when the state may cut $120 million in funding for mental health programs, Katz says the state needs to have its priorities in order.

But it's important to note that the state just approved a huge project to build a new bridge that will go right through Katz's district.

Scott Brown: "You say you're concerned about state spending, the state is going to spend three billion dollars, that's billion with a B, on a new Tappan Zee Bridge that's right in the heart of your district. Should the state not spend that money?"

Assemblyman Steve Katz: "I dare say a whole lot more people will be using the Tappan Zee Bridge and will be employing far more people than anything coming out of Ralph Wilson stadium. One is vital transportation to bring economic development to get people from one state to another on a bridge versus something, that as much as I love it, is still an elective, still a luxury."

"He doesn't know what he's talking about," said County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

Poloncarz says that on the Bills deal, once you total in the state income tax that will be paid by the players and the sales tax by fans, the state will come out ahead.

Assemblyman Steve Katz: "What income tax is he referring to?"

Scott Brown: "The players have to pay income tax on every game that they play in Buffalo."

Assemblyman Katz: "I want the county executive to literally show me those numbers and show me that it does make financial sense for New York to make this expenditure and then I'm all for it. I'm a businessman, show me those numbers and I will be standing there with you."

And to show his concerns were not anti-Buffalo, on Wednesday, Katz even put on a Bills cap given to him by Assemblyman Sean Ryan.

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