Reality Check: Did the Governor really get more money through the casino agreement?
(FOX19) - Wednesday's announcement that Governor John Kasich and ROC Gaming have come to an agreement on the Cincinnati and Cleveland casinos, comes after just over a month of delay on the construction of the projects.
It was Wednesday, May 11 when ROC Gaming halted construction.
Local lawmakers and unions argued that Governor Kasich was costing the city millions.
So how much did Kasich cost or save taxpayers?
Wednesday's announcement explains that ROC Gaming agreed to make additional payments of $10 million dollars annually for the first five years and $12 million dollars annually for the five years after that.
That means the Governor got taxpayers an additional $110 million dollars over the next 10 years.
Hours after the announcement, Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune blasted those numbers in this statement released to the media saying quote:
"After months of unnecessary anxious waiting and wondering if casinos would ever get built, a deal has been struck that gets the State of Ohio a measly $11 million more in taxes a year for 10 years...."(in Hamilton County alone, the county, the City of Cincinnati, public schools outside the city and CPS will lose over $67 million in one year of delay in opening the casino for business)" and counties and schools lost more than that in the one year of delay the governor caused..."
I contacted Commissioner Portune to find out where those numbers come from?
He told me that those are the projections of what the city, county, Cincinnati Public Schools and public schools outside the city are expected to take in over the course of a 12 month year.
Those numbers are also based on projections that the Cincinnati casino would be operating by the beginning of 2013.
But did the Governor really cause a 12 month delay?
I contacted ROC Gaming and a spokeswoman told me that the delay was from a late 2012 opening to an early 2013 opening. Also, that "we are still expecting a spring of 2013 opening"
When I asked how many months of a delay we were talking about, the response I received was "a few."
Here's what you need to know:
The construction jobs have not been lost. They were only delayed by a short span of time. There is more money coming to Ohio than there was under the previous agreement and there is not a one year delay. Any figures on projected losses cannot reflect a 12 month delay.