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Boscola Bill Would Double Property Tax Relief Dollars
On January 25, 2017 ·
Harrisburg, Jan. 25, 2017 – In calling for using all gaming proceeds for their intended purpose, Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton/Lehigh) today introduced legislation that would more than double the gaming dollars available for statewide property tax relief.
“My legislation (Senate Bill 101) upholds the intent of the original 2004 law that legalized gaming in Pennsylvania,” Boscola said. “Until the legislature acts to eliminate property taxes, it is imperative that we do all we can to shield senior citizens and working families from skyrocketing property tax hikes.”
Currently, casino slots proceeds are used solely for property tax relief. Table games monies are diverted into the state’s General Fund, which can be used for a multitude of different things. Boscola said that slots generated over $800 million for property tax relief in 2016.
“What many of our citizens don’t realize is that this $800 million only represents some of the gaming proceeds,” Boscola said. “There was also a record $853 million in table games revenue last year that end up being dumped into the state’s General Fund.”
Boscola noted that if the table games proceeds were also deposited in the state’s Gaming Fund, the amount of property tax relief available for homeowners would have doubled.
The Northampton County lawmaker has fought for cutting and eliminating taxes since she took office in 1994. She has also re-introduced Senate Bill 102, which would freeze property taxes for senior citizens 65 and older.
To date, Pennsylvania’s gaming industry has generated $11 billion in proceeds for the state. While the lion’s share of the funds is used for property tax relief, a small portion is set aside for economic development projects, fire companies, county fairs, water and sewer projects, the state’s horse racing industry and for county and municipal governments that host casinos.
Boscola said the state’s casinos employ more than 18,000 and have helped spur ancillary business investment and economic development.
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