Tuesday, October 27, 2009

House in No Hurry to Act on Table Games Tax Rate

A Pennsylvania House Democratic committee chair says the chamber likely won’t reconvene to address table games legislation until early November.
Last week, Governor Rendell predicted legislative leaders would hammer out a table games deal in the near future, but no announcement has been made.
House Gaming Oversight Committee Chairman Dante Santoni, a Berks County Democrat, says he doesn’t expect to vote on a bill until after next week’s election.

That frustrates his Senate counterpart; Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee Chairwoman Jane Earll.

"Well unfortunately it appears that’s where we’re headed. And that’s unfortunate because in the meantime they are holding the non preferred appropriations hostage. And it’s just ludicrous that there’s this arbitrary timeline they think commences on November 9th. That’s just ridiculous."

A House-passed bill calls for a 34% tax on table game revenues. The Senate approved a 14% tax rate. Santoni says the current House bill doesn't reflect their bargaining position....

"Realistically in negotiations it’s not going to be 34. I’m probably—educated guess, high teens, low twenties, is where it will probably fall."

Rendell has refused to sign a bill funding Penn State, Pitt and other state-related universities until after the table games legislation passes.

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