Casino money that funds municipal improvements may go away

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The state Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that casinos paying fees to the counties that they do business in is unconstitutional.

Chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, Rep. John Payne, says their decision gets straight to the point.

“The Supreme Court ruling said that you can’t treat casinos or counties different,” Payne said. “You can’t have a tax rate in Philly at one rate and a tax rate in the Poconos at another. They have to be the same.”

Since 2008, Dauphin County has received $106 million to improve infrastructure in local municipalities and bolster public health and public safety efforts.

Payne says the clock is ticking.

“We have 120 days to either fix this or all local monies will cease,” Payne said. “There will be no more funding that we can collect.”

Local casino share dollars helped fund the new complex for the Grantville Volunteer Fire Company that opened in 2013. Company president Wayne Isett says the $2 million they received in grant money allowed them to pay off their mortgage after 39 payments.

“We would not have this new building without the casino money,” Isett said. “It has been our savior.”

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