Letter: Tracking N.H. Lottery Revenue
To the Editor:
Robert Richardson of Enfield wanted to know where the state lottery money goes in his April 29 letter, “Delay Only Adds to the Cost.” While the lottery boasts it has spent more than $1 billion on education, it has done so over 50 years — an average of $20 million per year. It has grown with inflation, and varied to around $60 million to $70 million a year in the past decade. All lottery revenue remaining after prizes are paid out, except for about 3 percent for administration, goes to a constitutionally protected fund and is distributed to schools according to the state’s school funding formula, along with the much larger amounts raised from business and tobacco taxes.
The state gives about $500 million to the schools, and the cost of all K-12 public education in the state is over $3 billion. So you can see that the lottery’s $65 million is dwarfed by other revenue sources.
I expect the same misperception to happen if we pass the casino bill. We are looking at estimates of net annual revenue of between zero and $80 million, once it gets going three to four years from now, if the Legislature approves. Many people may then assume it is getting stolen, because its effect on the budget and our services will be so small.
Rep. Susan Almy, Democrat