(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - Casino revenues to towns like Lawrenceburg could take a big hit if a proposed bill at the Statehouse becomes law.
Senate Bill 528 passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday. The bill includes a number of casino gaming-related matters aimed at making Indiana’s casinos more competitive with casinos in neighboring states.
According to a report published in The Statehouse File on Thursday, one provision in the bill would reverse a policy the General Assembly approved a decade ago that capped the revenues that local communities collect from wagering and admissions taxes. The 2002 measure also guaranteed the communities would never receive less than the amounts they collected that year.
The Statehouse File report says that would mean $4.4 million less in 2015 and $12.1 million less in 2016 for the City of Lawrenceburg.
In contrast, the State of Indiana would keep $24 million in 2015 and $48 million each year after that. The state would use the money for up to $40 million in annual tax credits to casinos which expand or invest in themselves.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) said he wants to have “local units share in the commitment” to help casinos thrive.
The cities and counties would be far from having all of their casino-generated revenue taken away. Millions of dollars would still flow in from tax payments and local development agreements.
Lawrenceburg would still receive about $45 million in taxes and local payments annually from Hollywood Casino, according to the report.
The legislation would lower the tax rate for the less-busy casinos around the state. Casinos with less than $75,000,000 million in adjusted gross revenue in a state fiscal year would see their wagering tax rate lowered from 15 percent to just five percent. Based on their 2011 revenues, Rising Star Casino and Belterra Casino could fall under this category.
State Senator Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) is a sponsor of SB 528.