Courts grants lawmakers more time to fix struck-down tax law

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 21, 2017 7:29 AM

FILE PHOTO:  People play the slot machines at Harrah's Casino in Chester. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Harrisburg) -- State lawmakers are getting more time to replace a law requiring casinos to pay more than $140 million to local governments before it is wiped off the books.

The state Supreme Court has granted a request by Senate leaders for four more months, until May 26.

The court ruled in September that the "local share assessment" was unconstitutional because it treated the state's 12 casinos unequally, but it delayed the effect by 120 days. Senate leaders argued in a court filing last week that 120 days was insufficient.

Only Justice David Wecht dissented. He says the Legislature had ample opportunity to act, but that it lacked the political will.

Most casinos have agreed or pledged to continue paying the money. A key date is mid-April, when the first quarterly payment is due to local governments.

Dauphin County is home of Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

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