Scott supports giving any destination casinos, existing pari-mutuels the same tax rate

Scott supports giving any destination casinos, existing pari-mutuels the same tax rate

Gov. Rick Scott who thus far has been vague on his views on gaming expansion in Florida opened up a little bit on the subject on a Tallahassee radio show, saying he thought the South Florida pari-mutuels and any new casinos should have to pay the same amount in taxes.
Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, and Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, are pushing a proposal that would bring three Las Vegas-style casinos to Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. The existing pari-mutuels in those counties are not thrilled with that idea though, particularly if those facilities would pay a lesser tax rate because they feel they could not compete. In the proposed legislation, the new casinos would get a 10 percent tax rates. Pari-mutuels currently face a 35 percent tax rate.

On “The Morning Show with Preston Scott, a Tallahassee radio program on 100.7 WFLA, Scott said he believed there should be an identical tax rate.

“It wouldn’t be fair to allow in new casinos at a different tax rate than what the parimutuels are paying,” he said.

Scott also reiterated his previous statements on gaming, saying he felt there should be some sort of local decision making process and that he doesn’t want the state’s budget tied to gambling revenues because they are inconsistent. He also jokingly called the push for destination casinos the “lobbyist full employment act.”

The bills have not yet been filed, but sponsors have suggested they would be in the near future.

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