Pa. lawmakers on spot to revive intensely political casino tax

Written by The Associated Press | Sep 30, 2016 12:36 PM

Photo by AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

(Harrisburg) -- State lawmakers are on the spot to revive intensely political provisions for local governments and institutions to share casino revenue. 

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa says the Legislature could vote as early as October to pass a new revenue formula that's designed to pass constitutional muster. 

But the Allegheny County Democrat says it'll surely take longer and become more complicated if lawmakers widen their focus to include an expansion of casino gambling or to change the distribution of the local casino revenue. 

A stunning state Supreme Court decision Wednesday effectively knocked out more than $140 million in annual casino revenue for local government budgets and projects.

In Dauphin County, East Hanover Township is the home of Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. Township Manager Paul Cornell told WITF all he can do is wait to see how the state responds.

A suburban Philadelphia mayor says his township could see police layoffs or higher taxes if stops receiving the millions of dollars it gets from Parx Casino.

The high court gave lawmakers four months before the ruling takes effect.

Lawmakers say many current local budgets and projects are already relying on the casino money. 

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