When Supreme Court in Pennsylvania State exempted casinos from paying tax, lawmakers did not know how that would finally impact development projects in the state.
It is even worse now that the General Assembly’s 2017 session is almost coming to a close.
Many say that the problem started when the Supreme Court, the highest court in the state ruled that elements of the tax law that proved to be against the states and the federal constitution.
Since that time, lawmakers have experienced heartaches first knowing that their term in office is ending and second, they have been unable to find a solution to the current revenue deficit.
The aftermath of Supreme Court’s ruling has realized in many countries, with most of them now counting losses or revenue deficits of up to $120 million from casino money.
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, it is now evident that Tom Wolf, the State’s governor is left with no choice but to ask Assembly Members to come with alternatives that may likely factor in what the casino law filled. However, as things are at the moment, legislators are nowhere closer to getting the answer to the perplexing revenue bill.
Remember when the state introduced casino tax regulation last year, it was agreed that gaming facilities pay a given amount of their gambling collection to the state.
Then, it was agreed that casinos pay 2% of total gaming collection at the end of the year. The money would be channeled to development projects in host municipalities.
The two percent was seen as little money, which would finally entice locals who in the end would not see it hard to welcome casino expansion within their respective territories. Besides, the money would also be used to offset any levies the county or municipality owes the state thus residents would see casinos as remedies rather than burdens.
However, that clause had a challenge: if a casino did not attain the minimum set amount of $10 million, they would find other means to fill up what the law required. It is in this section of the law requirement that operators went to court to seek legal redress on the issue prompting the Supreme Court to rule against the casino tax revenue law terming a section of the elements of the constitution.
This law is not the first instance involving casinos that have been unable to meet their tax requirement.
In 2005, Mount Airy Casino went to court to ask for legal interpretation when the resort was still required to pay 2% of its slot machine revenue from gross proceeds that did not even come close to $3 million.
The actual amount collected from the slots was $2.8 million. That means the resort lacked $7.2 million to attain the minimum threshold.
When the court received the filing from Mount Airy Casino, it ruled that the formula, which was used to come up with the 2% revenue requirement, was very wrong.
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