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Carbon County lawmaker wants table gaming to fund property tax relief

By , - Last modified: February 18, 2013 at 10:02 AM

A state lawmaker wants to change the way casino tax revenue is distributed to put table gaming money toward property tax relief.

Act 1 of 2006, which requires that a portion of slots revenue go to offset property taxes for homeowners, has provided only "a subtle amount of assistance," according to a co-sponsorship memo from state Rep. Doyle Heffley.

Heffley, R-Carbon County, said last week he planned to reintroduce a bill requiring table gaming revenue also be used for property tax relief. Today, that money goes into the state's general fund.

There are 11 operating casinos in Pennsylvania and a few more are at various stages of development since Act 71 of 2004 ushered the commonwealth's gaming industry into being.

As the formal name of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act implies, part of the tax money generated by casinos also goes to subsidize the state's horseracing industry.

Total tax revenue from slots and table games play in the commonwealth was more than $1.4 billion in 2012. Most of the tax revenue — more than $1.3 billion— came from slots, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Two percent of the state's lowered 14 percent effective tax rate on table games at most casinos goes to local use.

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