Philadelphia’s use of its share of revenues from licensed casinos will be scrutinized by the General Assembly under a resolution, HR 86, approved by the state House of Representatives.
The sponsor of the measure, state Representative Rosita Youngblood, D-Philadelphia, said legalized casino gaming has provided nearly $7.5 billion in tax revenue to Pennsylvania, with nearly $600 million flowing into the city of Philadelphia since 2006.
"That doesn’t include the $880 million earmarked for the Pennsylvania Convention Center that is being paid over a 10-year period," Youngblood said. "It’s time that we take a step back and look at how this revenue is used and see if it can be used more effectively."
According to an analysis of the resolution provided by Youngblood’s office, HR 86 would focus on whether the bulk of gaming revenue generated by casino gambling through the Property Tax Relief Fund would serve residents better if it were used for property tax relief rather than its current allocation to reduce wage taxes for those who work in the city. Nearly 30 percent of the relief goes to city workers who live in the surrounding suburban counties. Currently, Philadelphia is the only county that uses money from the Property Tax Relief Fund to reduce its wage tax.