PES operations generate tens of millions in state income taxes.
Instantaneous: According to the economic impact study, PES operations were worth about $30 million to the state in income taxes in 2019.
That year, PSE paid out $396.5 million in salaries. This figure includes the Bills and Sabres, Lacrosse Bandits, Harborcenter and arena operations in Buffalo, all of PSE’s hockey, lacrosse and arena operations in Rochester, as well as its corporate headquarters.
The Bills’ payroll, driven by gargantuan player salaries, was $238.6 million — a figure that will continually rise as the NFL’s salary cap rises. The Sabers’ payroll was about half that, at $121.4 million. In comparison, the Bandits ($1.9 million), the Rochester Americans minor league hockey team ($2 million) and the Knighthawks lacrosse team ($352,000) were tiny.
In total, the Pegulas’ payroll resulted in an estimated $30.2 million in state income tax deductions.
Carry: State income taxes go to Albany, not Buffalo or Erie County. And as an important aside, most of the millionaire athletes who play for the Bills and Sabers live and spend their money elsewhere during the offseason, minimizing local impact.