Officials Trying to Reboot GEDTF Money?

Officials Trying to Reboot GEDTF Money?

A news article indicates that local officials might not be ready to see an allocation from the Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund (GEDTF) go away quietly.

Our Brief from April detailed the changes brought by Act 42 of 2017 to projects in Allegheny County.  Some will go on, others will cease, and one will be repurposed.  The David L. Lawrence Convention Center received three GEDTF allocations when the original gaming law was passed in 2004: $20 million for Center Debt, $20 million for Center operating deficit, and $44 million for a Center hotel.  The latter allocation was shifted to Allegheny County for the creation of an economic development fund when the hotel did not materialize.

With the end of the ten-year period for the original payment schedule approaching, local officials are “..scrambling for ways to replace [the money]” which has been used in part to discount convention events (Act 42 does not extend the payments for the Center debt, and repurposes the money that was going for the deficit to the creation of a Regional Sports Commission; both are essentially ending in the next two years, but the article seems to conflate the two streams).

From the point of view of a state senator, the money won’t continue “…because the convention center presumably was doing OK”.  How about this for a solution if the center is not OK?  Officials could make a case to take a piece of the annual allotments from the three streams of money (for the airport and for two county economic development funds) that will continue past the original ten-year deadline as set up by Act 42.  That would present a scenario in which those GEDTF recipients could show why they need all of the money for their projects and for Center boosters to plead for restoration of what will end.