Buffalo leaders aren’t taking kindly to Assemblyman Steve Katz’s comments on Monday that $60 million in the state budget for the Buffalo Bills is poorly spent.
Katz said on the Assembly floor that, “You’re talking about essentially a handful of people who will go to this stadium eight days out of the year.”
The comment drew sharp criticism from Western New York lawmakers and leaders who helped negotiate the state subsidy. The Bills ranked 21st in attendance last year, according to ESPN, with nearly 65,000 people a game.
“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said to WGRZ, Gannett’s Buffalo TV station.
Poloncarz offered a math lesson to Katz, WGRZ reported, saying that the state will recoup its $60 million in income taxes directly tied to the Bills. Add to that sales tax revenue, and Albany will come out ahead, Poloncarz said.
“New York State alone would lose millions upon millions of dollars (if the team leaves) that are generated as a result of the Buffalo Bills being in New York State,” Poloncarz said.
Sen. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, also knocked the Westchester County Republican lawmaker.
“The Buffalo Bills are way to important to the people of Western New York,” Kennedy said. “They’re way too important to the people of New York State.”