All the twelve casinos in Pennsylvania have united to protest against a large jump is their running cost; a 33 per cent hike in payments has been proposed by The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, to cover increasing cost of casino regulations in the state; this would take regulatory costs up by 33 per cent, from USD 56 million to USD 75 million per year.
Eileen McNulty, the Secretary of Revenue for Pennsylvania said in a letter, addressed to the casinos, on the 31st of March 2016 that casinos will be expected to pay 2 per cent of their gross slot revenues and gross table revenues, towards regulatory expenses, starting from the 1st of July 2016, a 0.5 per cent increase compared to the 1.5 per cent that was payable till now. She also explained in the letter, issued at the end of March that “the increase is necessary due to cost increases such as benefit, pension, and contractual salary increases.”
The casinos addressed a letter to McNulty, on Thursday, in response to the proposition to increase payments, to raise their concerns about the USD 19 million annual increase in payments. They also referred to an analysis from 2014, which mentioned that the regulatory costs for casinos in Pennsylvania were amongst the highest in the United States alongside casino taxes, which were also amongst the highest in the country.
In the letter, the casino owners also addressed their disappointment about the large hike in charges specially given their history of partnership, between the casinos and The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, in the area of taxes thus far; the letter called the “surprise, unilateral determination to increase regulatory costs and expenses by 33 percent is a regrettable departure” from a history of partnership between the state and the industry to raise money for property-tax relief.
The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue have stated that they have received the letter and are in the process of reviewing these concerns. Whether the department can renegotiate the figures or not will most likely be disclosed soon, as the changes in payments are to take effect in just under two months.