Earmarks in Table Games Bill

DECEMBER 16, 2009 | by NATHAN BENEFIELD

I mentioned previously that the legislation authorizing table games at Pennsylvania casinos included a number of earmarks (directing funds to a specific project) and WAMs (creating a pot of money to hand out later) from the 2% local share tax. I call these handouts Wambling - WAMs from Gambling.

Of course, it is difficult to identify exactly where this money is going from the 460-page bill - i.e. " a community college campus in a county of the 5th class with a Category 2 casino". But the folks who craft legislation do know how to translate between legalese and English. In very few cases is the local share distributed the same as under the slots law.

From the House Republican Gaming Committee summary of SB 711:

Sets local share tax rate at 2% to be distributed as follows:

Harrah's

  • Chester County: 1% to the county
  • Chester City: 1% to the city for becoming a sponsor of the community college

Mohegan Sun

  • Luzerne County: 1% distributed the same as slots
  • Plains Twp: 1% to the township until budgetary cap is reached; excess over cap to be distributed to county

The Meadows

  • Washington County: 1% to DCED for grand to economic authorities and redevelopment authorities
  • North Strabane Twp: 1% to the township until budgetary cap is reached; excess over cap to be distributed to county

Unknown Harness Track

  • Host County: 1% distributed the same as slots
  • Host Twp: 1% to the township until budgetary cap is reached; excess over cap to be distributed to county

Philadelphia Park

  • Bucks County: 1% to the Lower Bucks hospital
  • Bensalem Twp: 1% to the recreation department of Bensalem

Penn National

  • Dauphin/Lebanon Counties: 1% to the county for a violent crime task force
  • East Hanover (Dauphin Co)/East Hanover (Lebanon Co): $120,000 to each township; excess to the county for the violent crimes task force

Presque Isle Downs

  • Erie County: 2% (entire local share) for a new community college
  • Summit Twp: distributed per county share

SugarHouse/Foxwoods

  • Philadelphia: distributed pursuant to slots formula

The Rivers

  • Allegheny County: 85% of the 1% to county libraries; 15% of the 1% to a tourist promotion agency in Monroeville
  • Pittsburgh: 1% to the county library system

Mount Airy

  • Monroe County: 50% of the 1% to DCED for grants in Monroe County for roads and economic development; 50% of the 1% for grants from PHEAA to a school of medicine
  • Paradise Twp: 1% to the township until budgetary cap is reached; excess over cap to be distributed to county

Sands Bethworks

  • Northampton County: 60% of the 1% for county economic development; 20% of 1% to Easton; 20% of the 1% to Lehigh County with 50% of the 20% to contiguous municipalities for economic development
  • Bethlehem City: 50% of the 1% to Bethlehem; 20% of 1% to Allentown; 30% to Easton

Valley Forge

  • Host County: 1% to the Commonwealth Financing Authority for Business in our Sites, Tax increment financing and water and Wastewater projects
  • Host Twp: 1% to the township until budgetary cap is reached; excess over cap to be distributed to county

Unknown Class 3 (Resort)

  • House [sic] County: 1% distributed the same as slots
  • Host Twp: 50 % of the 1% to host twp; 50% of 1% to contiguous city

RELATED : ,



comments powered by Disqus

Media contact:
media@commonwealthfoundation.org

(O) 717-671-1901

Who are We?

The Commonwealth Foundation is Pennsylvania's free-market think tank.  The Commonwealth Foundation crafts free-market policies, convinces Pennsylvanians of their benefits, and counters attacks on liberty.