The House approved legislation that its author says “modernizes” Indiana’s gaming tax structure.
Rep. Todd Huston’s (R-Fishers) legislation would impose a new tax on casinos – a 3 percent levy on their gaming revenue. It would replace the admissions tax, which Huston’s bill would eliminate.
“As you step on a riverboat casino you are charged $3. This antiquated way of charging that tax has stood in the way of progress for much too long,” Huston says.
The bill originally lowered the amount of revenue flowing from casinos to local communities by $18 million – creating a huge impact on those local budgets. Huston eliminated that provision, yielding far more support for the bill.
Still, House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) – who has a casino in his district – says locals might still lose money under the bill’s changes.
“It’s sort of inching – sometimes glacially, sometimes a little bit more quickly – in the right direction,” Pelath says. “I do think it needs more work.”
The House approved the measure 74 to 22, advancing it to the Senate.