John Carney, the Delaware Governor as agreed that talks about the proposed casino tax relief reform should not begin immediately. This was reaffirmed by Richard Geisenberger, the Secretary of Finance of the Senate Finance Committee who was also of the thought the negotiations should begin immediately.
The supporters of the proposed bill believe that slashing casino taxes is a necessary step that will go a long way in ensuring that the state’s three casinos stay competitive, otherwise they are likely to end the year in a loss.
Speaking on behalf of Governor John Carney, who is considered to be one of the main opponents of the proposed Senate Bill 144, during Wednesday’s Senate Finance Committee meeting, Secretary of Finance Richard Geisenberger pointed out that the casino tax reform has been delayed for too long. He went further to mention that the prolonged negotiations have been underway since Governor Carney took office and that this instance was the third time that legislators were attempting to slash casino taxes in the state. Finally, he admitted that problems with the state budget from last year have made the reform less attractive to discuss. Geisenberger, however, assured the committee that Governor Carney was committed to finding a feasible solution that would ensure that the good partnership between the state and the casino remains intact.
The current Delaware taxation rules require that casinos pay 20 percent of their table games revenue and 43 percent of their slot machine revenue. In addition to this, there is a fixed $3 million licensing fee for table games. Obviously, this is great for state coffers but some lawmakers and industry representatives are of the opinion that the structure inhibits or even stunts the growth of the gambling venues by not allowing them to upgrade their offerings, make investments, or even increasing employ salaries.
Senate Bill 144 which was re-introduced earlier this year is primarily sponsored by Senator Brian Bushweller – during the Wednesday meeting he pointed out that the situation cannot and that the casino taxes must be reviewed as soon as possible.