In September of 2016, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court were given a 120 time frame in which to come up with a solution for the state tax levy on slot machines. Casinos of the state were paying $10 million or 2% of slot gaming venues to their host communities, an amount that the court says was unconstitutional, as casinos were paying varying amounts. Legislators were unable to reach a decision by the January deadline and have now been given an extension.
On Friday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court voted 6 to 1 to give legislators until May 26th to come up with a new levy for slot machines. In the past, casinos would pay their tax to the host communities which included the counties and municipalities. Without this month, the local communities will suffer due to budget constraints. Despite the ruling, most casinos agreed to pay the amount to help the community.
The only individual opposed to the extension was Justice David Wecht. Wecht is the author of the decision from September who stated that the court should not assist the General Assembly which lacks the political will to find a remedy. Wecht stated: “Stalled in a political traffic jam of their own making, the legislators ask this Court to build them a detour. We should decline to do so.”
The money that is created from the tax revenues are used by local governments to cover a variety of needs including social services, economic development projects and more.