Franchot: 'Deep Tax Cuts' Offset Expected Gaming Revenue

Comptroller says the November referendum will not be about legalization of slots but "will be about the type of government Marylanders want, and the kind of state we wish to leave to our kids."

Comptroller Peter Franchot said expanded gaming legislation scheduled to be signed into law Wednesday won't generate the revenue state officials promise.

"There never was a fiscal or an economic rationale for reconvening the Maryland General Assembly for its third special session in less than a year," said Franchot in a statement released Wednesday. "Any revenues that will be generated by a new casino in Prince George’s County will take several years to materialize and, if the past is any indication, have been drastically overestimated by gambling supporters and legislative analysts."

Gov. Martin O'Malley is expected to sign the bill into law after 10 a.m. Wednesday, just hours after the Senate passed a final version amended by the House of Delegates.

The General Assembly that will allow voters the chance to approve table games and a possible sixth casino in Prince George's County—possibly at National Harbor.

"Furthermore, any modest revenues that will result from this new MGM casino will be offset to a large extent by the deep tax cuts that have been awarded by the legislature to MGM’s in-state competitors," said Franchot in his statement.

MGM Resorts has expressed interest in building a facility at National Harbor.

"While the events of the past few days have been extremely profitable for the national gambling industry, they have been calamitous to those who still value open, transparent and progressive government," said Franchot in his statement. "The irregular nature of this session provided no meaningful forum for members of the public to attend public hearings, express their opinions and ask hard questions. It denied citizens the chance to review real-time campaign finance reports and draw their own conclusions. The final product—tax cuts of 25 percent or more for casino operators, from the same legislature that has repeatedly raised taxes, fees and tolls on small businesses and middle class families—is the most regressive act of public policy that I have seen in 25 years in public life."

Joe August 16, 2012 at 04:07 PM
"BILL O'REILLY, HOST: The top story tonight: one of the most liberal members of Congress, Robert Wexler of Florida, may not be a Floridian. Wexler represents the Palm Beach area, but has lived in Maryland since the late 1990s. He says his Florida address is a senior residence in Delray Beach. But that residence says kids can't live there for more than two months each year. Wexler has three teenagers. Producer Griff Jenkins caught up with Wexler at his Maryland home. GRIFF JENKINS, FOX NEWS PRODUCER: Good morning. Griff Jenkins from FOX News. Just a couple quick questions for you. REP. ROBERT WEXLER, D-FLA.: No, I'm not doing this. If you want to call my office, that's fine. I've got to drive my daughter to work. JENKINS: Two quick questions. It came to our attention that your primary residence in your disclosure format is in Florida in Delray. WEXLER: That's correct. That's my residence. JENKINS: Yes? WEXLER: Yes. I'll be happy to answer whatever question you wish… JENKINS: It looks like you live here. And the house in Delray appears to be an active adult community, belongs to your mother-in-law? Is that true you live with your mother-in-law? WEXLER: My in-laws own that house, that's correct. I'll be happy to... JENKINS: So you live with your mother-in-law? WEXLER: My in-laws own that house, yes. That's my official residence. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,390663,00.html#ixzz23j48KVW9 "
MG42 August 16, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Then I'm sure you see how inconsistent you reasoning is.
romeo valianti August 16, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I read in the Carroll County Times that Senators Joseph Getty and David Brinkley were the only Carrroll County Senators voted in favor of epanding gambling in Maryland. They were the only smart ones that felt their vote was necessary for gambling to be important enough be successful, The four Delegates from Carroll County who voted against the gambling bill were only voting against Governor O'Malley and the Democratic Party. Its time for a change for Carroll County to replace these four Delegates with more common sense. Lets us Republicans, Democrats, Independents and voters with vision from Carroll County, start today by replacing these four Delegates who are only political publicity seekers . ITS TIME FOR THEM TO GO.
Sean Tully August 16, 2012 at 04:49 PM
H. R., I am for that too, but we do need regulations or the corporations will run amok. That's how it is in reality.
Sean Tully August 16, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Skip, calling the Tea Party "loony" is not name calling. It is a comment on a political movement. Name calling would be me calling you something derogatory.
Joe August 16, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Are Miller O'Malley and Busch (the MOB) and the rest NOT "political publicity seekers"? Really?
Dana Schwartz August 16, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Oh, now I see your point! Since I'm against legalized gambling, I should also be against public education. I'll think about that. ;)
MG42 August 16, 2012 at 05:40 PM
You specifically stated "why should others be allowed to make choices that cost us ALL money?" If you apply that logic consisently, you should really be opposed to all government programs.
Tom August 16, 2012 at 05:47 PM
There are two separate resulting voting components to the referendum. One is a statewide vote to allow table games at all casinos and to create a 6th license for a PG Co site. The other is how PG Co votes for the referendum. It is possible that the referendum vote statewide could be in favor of granting table games and the 6th license while PG Co majority votes down the referendum. At that point, the 6th license is shot down, while the other casinos get table games.
Skip727 August 16, 2012 at 06:34 PM
As I recall, the mayor at that time was morally opposed to gambling. Just as he was opposed to anything offered from a republican, think back to the $50mil that 'disappeared' from the Baltimore City school budget when he was mayor and he opposed the then governor's assistance in replacing those funds, providing the state had a say in how those funds were spent. Seems like our governor doesn't want to be accountable to ANYONE ( voters included) except those that can contribute to his run for higher office. Just saying.
M. Sullivan August 16, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Now, honestly, what are the odds of the referendum being voted down is PG county, given the demographics?
Dean Smith August 16, 2012 at 06:46 PM
M. Sullivan, I agree with you! By the time MGM runs commercials in Prince George’s County stating that a new casino there will generate new jobs, lower taxes, new funds for police, firefighters, teachers (for anyone in Anne Arundel County, does all of this sound familiar), there hardly will be anyone who will vote against having slots there.
Jim, thanks for pointing out an important provision of the legislation that has not really been covered. Although an amendment was proposed to provide similiar types of personal property tax exemptions in other areas of business, particularly helpful to small businesses, we did not get enough votes in the house. When the issue was raised in the discussion on the Senate floor, it is my understanding that no one took up the challenge to explain why.
Joe August 16, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Fauxcahontas? She did the same thing as Obama and both lied about their heritage.
Skip727 August 16, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Sean, Semantics, Sir. But to each his/her own.
Corbin Dallas Multipass August 16, 2012 at 07:43 PM
"I don't think a gambling addict who loses their home has an measurable effect on prices." That's you making an assumption about every possible outcome. Perhaps some do, perhaps some don't. http://homebuying.about.com/od/4closureshortsales/qt/0507-4-closeval.htm Saying it has no effect is still crazy.
romeo valianti August 16, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Is it any wonder why the Maryland House of Delegates voted against the Carroll County Non profit organizations gambling bill with Delegates like Jusin Ready, Susan Krebs, Don Elliott and Nancy Stocksdale. Its time for Term limits with Delegates like we have in Carroll County. They also cant wait until they come home so they can slam the Governor every way they can. Carroll County citizens are the only loosers with this bunch that we send down to the State Legislature year after year especially with their negative attitude towards the majority Democratic members of the General Assembly
Ronald August 17, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Hopefully Baltimore City and AA County will remember the lost revenues if this bill is passed and their votes will cancel out, and outweigh, PG County. It's just a shame that the 21st Delegation that represents AA County didn't abstain and showed their true colors. Remember come election time.
Ronald August 17, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Hey Cathy V. - we're still waiting for a response on your position for taking the ability of the County Exec. to appoint the Police Chief away? Why not answer one question before you sound off about others?
John T. August 17, 2012 at 04:42 AM
I like how they passed tax breaks for these millionaire casino owners. Tax breaks such as zero Personal Property (inventory) tax for life. While the rest of us small businesses have to shut up and pay these taxes without any tax break what so ever. How is that fair? If personal property taxes are expected from businesses, then EVERY business should have to pay them. By giving tax exemptions to selected businesses, casinos or other businesses in an attempt to lure them here, is admitting that our tax rates are are not competitive to nieghboring states, because if they were they would not have to selectively deviate from them. If a tax, such as an inventory tax, for the majority of businesses is thought to be a great thing, then it should be great for all businesses in this state!
MikeC August 17, 2012 at 10:32 AM
You know what Sully? May I call you "Sully". Sully, a viable and sustainable casino industry in MD, or anywhere for that matter, really isn't important to a viable and sustainable society, so, in that sense, No society really "needs" casinos, gaming or things like that that are low level entertainment for its residents. The only reason, and there really is only one reason, to invite casinos into your neighborhood is that their ability to scoop up people's money in a way that they believe they are having fun giving up loads of money in an incredibly willing manner to help run the government. If government could collect revenue and make it as fun as some people believe gambling is in a fair and equitable way from all its residents then we wouldn't have all that bitching about how much taxes are costing all of us so that our government could provide us with services and infrastructure we truly need as a highly civilized, functioning society. right, Sully?
Mike McAuliffe August 17, 2012 at 10:39 AM
Sean, I don't agree with your opinions very often, but I like this idea. I think creating a Debauchery Zone in the city and one in each surrounding county would alleviate some of the problems that creep into residential areas. Gambling houses, saloons, brothels, bordellos, prostitution, peep shows, strip joints, glory hole houses, bath houses. hukka bars, grog houses, opium dens, pot smoking houses, crack houses, etc. Let almost any type of behavior go on in the zone. A Dodge City of sorts. But along with this must come harsh penalties for anyone or any business conducting this stuff outside of the zone. The strip joint owners on The Block asked for such a zone a dozen years ago when the City dismantled the Block, but the businesses were told that they were on their own to relocate. That's when the places like the glory hole shack on Southwestern Blvd. near the MARC station showed up throughout the counties. There will always be a certain market for this stuff and most of the patrons are willing to drive to a remote location to get their entertainment. No government is able to squash this stuff, so they should simply try to contain it.
Skip727 August 17, 2012 at 06:30 PM
It would be nice if Delegate Rick Impallaria and Senator J.B. Jennings would explain the YES vote during the special session and why Delegate Kathy Szeliga DIDN'T bother to vote at all. Could it be that some campaign funding is forthcoming? Just asking.
Joan Wood August 17, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Skip727: Delegate Szeliga was on a per-planned vaction in Colorado. Guess you need to call Delegate Impallaria and Senator Jennings and ask them your question instead of asking it here.....I know Senator Jennings will give you a straight answer.......not sure about Rick.
Skip727 August 17, 2012 at 07:00 PM
I thank you for that information. I posted here because mailing my elected officials or calling them usually ends up with my messages being ignored but posting something here on Patch usually elicits a quick response.
Skip727 August 17, 2012 at 07:03 PM
One other thing, if the vacation was pre-planned why does the roll call have her listed as NOT VOTING instead of ABSENT? Just asking. Thanks again for the response.
Joan Wood August 17, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Skip727: She was on vacation proir to this "not so special session". I'm sorry if I reported the incorrect information. Here is a link to her web-site with her updates on the session and a way to contact her. It clearly states she voted NO.......Delegate Kathy Szeliga [kszeliga@aol.com] call or email her. I'm sure she will answer your questions.
Skip727 August 17, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Joan, Thank you for that information. Don't apologize, happens to us all. And you are correct in calling it a "not-so-special-session". Have a good day.
M. Sullivan August 20, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Mike, of course no society "needs" casinos nor do they "need" any other form of entertainment like theater, bars, bowling alleys, etc. Just because you don't think casinos are fun doesn't mean others don't. The problem in MD is our tax dollars are being wasted by our government trying to have too much control over a casino industry that is doomed to failure due to the clumsy, ignorant actions taken in Annapolis. A casino industry that is controlled by the people who know the business, that is taxed at a reasonable rate, will thrive. It will bring in out of state money, provide jobs, and pay a regular, sustainable tax base. All these stupid actions from Annapolis such as buying millions of dollars of machines with our tax money and the regulations that make any casinos in MD inferior are just wasting our money.
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