Meetings & Information


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ohio Defunding Host Communities

The article at the bottom goes far beyond PREDATORY GAMBLING, IMPACTS and the costs to HOST COMMUNITIES.

This defines the Failed Fiscal Policies.....

How Ohio Pulled $4 Billion+ from Communities and Redistributed It Upwards

Ohio: Poster Child for Mindless Global Self-Destruction


Racino communities looking to governor for payment plan

When the governor vetoed a legislative proposal to provide $500,000 each to Austintown and Dayton for hosting racinos, we thought he would lay out his ideas for the payments in the executive biennium budget he submitted to the Ohio General Assembly earlier this month.

But much to our surprise, Gov. John Kasich’s budget makes no mention of the racino communities.

Thus, we, along with Austintown Township officials, state Rep. Ronald Gerberry of Austintown, D-59th, and Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd, wonder if the governor has had a change of heart, or if there’s a hitch.

Last December, Kasich vetoed an amendment that would have required Penn National Gaming to pay $250,000 to each community, with the other $250,000 coming from the $150 million Penn National will be paying into a special fund over the next 10 years.

The governor contended that Penn National should be responsible for the entire amount, and then he went a step further: He said that four other communities that host racinos, North Randall, Northfield, Lebanon and Cincinnati, must also receive annual payments from the owners of the gaming facilities.

Excluded from his plan is Franklin County, which is home to Scioto Downs Racino. Hollywood Casino Columbus already is paying the county government.

In addition to Penn National, other gaming companies operating in Ohio are Rock Ohio Caesars, MTR Gaming, Hard Rock International, Miami Valley Gaming and Pinnacle Entertainment.

We praised the governor for coming up with a fair solution, but Gerberry issued a warning at the time that may be coming to pass.

Here’s what the veteran legislator said in the wake of Kasich’s action:

“I’m just hopeful that the persuasion of the governor’s office is very strong in 2015 on the majority party of the Senate.

The reason that this is not getting done is that there are some folks in the majority that believe that the host racino communities shouldn’t be paid $500,000 a year, and they’ve been able to stop it.

That’s unfortunate.”

We were skeptical about Gerberry’s claim that some senators do not believe racino host communities should be paid, but recent developments have given us pause.

ReluctanceFor instance, Gerberry and Schiavoni have been trying to get leaders from the four communities the governor added to the list to publicly support Kasich’s payment proposal, but their unwillingness to take a stand does raise questions.

After all, it’s their constituents who stand to benefit.“I think there should be at least 10 to 15 state reps crying over here saying, ‘Why haven’t these communities gotten their money?’

I don’t know why there isn’t more of a push from every racino community ... Don’t you think you would have gotten involved? Actively involved?”

We certainly would think so.In the end, however, it’s up to Gov. Kasich to press the GOP leaders in the House and Senate to take up the issue.

After all, he said no to the original proposal that would have resulted in Austintown and Dayton being paid by now.

The two communities have already budgeted for the $500,000, which is not a handout.

While the seven racinos in Ohio — there also are four Vegas-style casinos in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo — have spurred economic growth, they also forced governments to spend more on police and fire protection and road maintenance.

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