Indiana lobbies against casino tax breaks

A State’s amendment would reduce casinos’ tax payments.

The fee reduction would affect directly regional LaPorte County and Michigan City.

US.- As Indiana State’s legislators are considering approving the casino tax regulation House Bill 1350, regional governments of LaPorte County and Michigan City have stated their opposition by hiring a joint lobbyist. “We’re doing this together,” confirmed Doug Biege, LaPorte County attorney.

The new law pretends to set breaks for the gaming industry and, according to the official, it would cost the local government US$8,000 per month, which could be US$20,000 in April 30, when legislators would release their last decision on the issue.

House Bill 1350 would eliminate the US$3 admission fee that casino players currently have to pay and it would add a 3 percent tax on gaming revenue. LaPorte County and Michigan City governments will invest US$10,000 on fighting the bill that could reduce the approximately US$50 million casino industry generates regionally per year to half.

Local casinos’ revenues have been declining for the last ten years, when the Four Winds Casino began its operations outside New Buffalo, as LaPorte County Commission President Rich Mrozinski explained. The new amendment is expected to further affect the financial results in both LaPorte County and Michigan City.