Republican and tax increase are an unusual combination but that is exactly what one Republican representative is calling for.
House Minority Leader Brian Newberry says in light of the approval of casino gambling at Twin River Casino the state should consider raising the tax on revenues from table games from 18% to 20%.
The 18% tax on table games was set in the 2012 Revenue Protection Act. Currently the state taxes revenues from the video slot machines on a basis of roughly 60 cents to a dollar.
Newberry said he has seen statistics that show Twin River can afford to pay more to the state in table game revenues and questions why the slot parlor is not already. "We have an obligation here given all the revenue problems of the state to maximum the deal that the state gets from Twin River," said Newberry.
Newberry proposed a similar bill as an amendment in 2012 but it failed. "I want an explanation as to why 18% is the number," said Newberry, questioning why he tax was set at 18% not 20% or 22%.
"We set the terms, so why are we leaving money on the table," he said. Newberry said he would be satisfied with the 18% if someone could provide a good explanation of why 18% is the states share.
Rep. John Edwards, Rep. K Joseph Shekarchi, Rep. Frank G. Ferri, and Rep. Michael Chippendale are co-sponsors of the education.