An altered plan for raising the state tax on casinos was given by the Governor Terry Branstad to the legislators, but from lawmakers and a key lobbying group, it is getting the same chilly response.
Raising the state tax on all casinos to 36 percent was recommended by Branstad in late January. Now, for the casinos, Branstad advises a “graduated” tax based on profits, in the same way individuals who make more money have higher tax rates.
Raising the casino tax was proposed by Branstad so legislators then would be able to cut the state’s top corporate income tax rate in half.
A casino’s first $25 million would be taxed at 24 percent under the governor’s proposal. At 30 percent, revenue of $50 million or more would be taxed and revenue of $75 million or more would hit the top rate of 36 percent.
Tim Albrecht, Branstad spokesman said that those casinos that had already agreed to this same 36 percent rate last decade would be primarily be impacted by the top rate, when they were able to put slot machines in the horse tracks.
Meanwhile, Branstad said that he believes it was the right thing to hold off on online gaming for at least a year; even though to allow it, Washington, D.C., will likely become the first place in the nation.
On payments for lawyers and other professionals who provide legal services to youthful and impoverished defendants is one of the most contentious issues this session has focused upon. Since mid-February, hundreds have gone unpaid, largely because in this year’s budget the Legislature did not have suitable enough money to pay for the program.