HARRISBURG – Senator Tom Killion today (R-9) today voted for legislation that would keep money flowing from casino fees to local municipalities, including more than $10 million annually to the City of Chester.
House Bill 1887, which passed the Senate by a vote of 46-1 and now goes to the House, was drafted in response to a state Supreme Court ruling that invalidated local share provisions in the Gaming Act providing more than $140 million in casino fees to communities. It was imperative that the Senate do its due diligence for Pennsylvania communities impacted by the Court decision that struck down a vital source of revenues used to cover costs for police, fire and other services.
“Municipalities rely on this funding for core services for constituents,” Killion said. “It is vital that we ensure that they continue to receive this revenue and can balance their budgets until we can develop a long-term fix for this issue.”
The Supreme Court ruled the law violated the constitution’s taxation uniformity clause because it forced casinos to pay a host fee of $10 million or 2 percent of slot revenue, whichever was greater.
The Senate stop-gap bill would set a flat prorated $10 million fee to be paid on a monthly basis, starting on Jan. 1 and expiring on May 1. Killion said it is only meant to ensure the local communities continue to receive funding until a long-term fix can be negotiated next year.
“This unexpected loss of revenue could be devastating for the City of Chester and Delaware County,” Killion said. “I want to ensure that local officials and residents in my district are not adversely affected in the short-term by this court decision.”
CONTACT: Krista Hair (717) 787-4712