Senate OKs local casino tax bill

state capitol dome

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The Pennsylvania Senate has passed legislation to temporarily reinstate a mandate that casinos pay millions of dollars to host communities, after it was struck down by the state’s highest court.

The Senate overwhelmingly approved the bill Wednesday night, 46-1. It goes to the House, where its prospects were uncertain.

The bill would mandate a different formula to create the same payments that yielded some $140 million in the last fiscal year, but only until May 1.

Senate officials say the next seven months will give lawmakers time to work on a permanent solution. The money has gone to local government budgets, institutions and projects in Philadelphia and 11 counties.

A lawyer who represents Mount Airy Casino says the bill is unconstitutional for the same reasons the state Supreme Court struck down the local tax provisions last month.

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