On December 14th, 2007, things are looking up for Pennsylvania owners to acquire a modest amount of slot machines property tax relief for the month of July. During the briefing on the state’s 2007-2008, Budget Secretary Michael Masch commented that the Property Tax Relief Find will start in the new fiscal year in July, which will exceed more than $750 million, the amount required for giving property tax relief.
The relief fund currently stands at $507 million, spurred by gross terminal profit from six casino facilities that are currently operating. But another $35.6 million from November’s results must still be put into the fund, if similar monthly results are produced from January to April, the amount will be at $700 million.
Masch would not give an exact estimate as how much property tax relief each owner will receive but Gov. Ed Rendell said that the slot machines can produce about $200 to $250 million annually. Once all of the fourteen casino facilities are open by next year-officials expect that at least one billion annually to be allocated to the property tax relief, which could improve the average tax relief for homeowners to $300 or more.
Since the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs near Wilkes-Barre opened in November 2006, the first slots establishment in Pennsylvania to open, $1 billion gross terminal profit has been produced. This is the amount of cash left after the players have been paid. There are now four racing tracks/casinos open like the Meadows Racetrackand Casino in Washington County and Presque Isle Downs in Erie.
A sixth gaming organization, Penn National, will open their casino facility in Harrisburg in February. The seventh and last racing track casino will be constructed in Lawrence County courtesy of Centaur Incorporated from Indianapolis which will open in two years. The very first stand alone casino, Mount Airy in the Poconos, opened their doors in October and Don Barden’s Majestic Star recently broke ground and will open for business in 2009.
Two stand alone casinos in Philadelphia and one in Bethlehem will also open in 2009 although the two casinos in Philadelphia face a lot of criticism from residents. Aside from the gross terminal profit the state will get every year, each casino facility had to pay the state a licensing fee of $50 million. In addition to the seven racing track casinos and five stand alone slots parlors, there will be also two resort hotel casinos. The first twelve casino slots facilities can offer up to 5,000 slot machines each.
The two hotel casinos can feature up to 5,000 slot machines. Rendell has faced a lot of opposition about the lack of broad-based tax relief from casinos, which was the main point in his platform when he ran for governor back in 2003.