A legislative commission will examine how Philadelphia uses its share of gaming proceeds under a resolution, House Resolution 86, approved by the state House of Representatives Gaming Oversight Committee.

One of the sponsors of the resolution, state Representative Rosita Youngblood, D-Philadelphia, said Philadelphia is the only local government that uses money from the state property-tax relief fund – which is funded by receipts from the state’s 11 casinos – to reduce the wage tax.

Youngblood said the resolution asks the state to study whether the money provided to the city by casino gambling can help offset the tax increases facing hundreds of thousands of city residents with the advent of the city’s new property tax reassessment plan, known as the Actual Value Initiative.

"In 2006, when the General Assembly passed the Taxpayer Relief Act, and we determined how gaming money would be used across the commonwealth, reducing the wage tax instead of property taxes may have made sense," Youngblood said. "But now, with property tax increases looming for so many in communities in Philadelphia, we need to at least take a look at how the city is using this important revenue, and make sure that it is being used in the best way possible to help the most residents."

- John L. Kennedy, for the Law Weekly