Gaming Money Creates Controversy in Allegheny County
To the great surprise of everyone, including county council members, on the afternoon of December 31, 2007, Allegheny County received a $22.4 million wire transfer from the state’s Gaming Economic Development and Tourism fund. Out of the transferred funds, $19.9 million has been grabbed by the county to fill a 2007 budget hole instead of going to the Airport Authority to help make bond payments, as most people believed the legislature had intended. Considering the potential harm the recent airline fee hikes will do to the airport makes this money grab by the county extremely unsettling. At a time when the airport needs to do what it can to be competitive and is closing off sections of concourses due to the further drop in USAirways flights, the first installment of the gaming funds could have been a great help.