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Casino Slot Machines Get Approved Tax Rate

The Sunshine State is trying to pass a law to increase the flow of revenue into its public schools through a sliding scale tax rate on casino slot machines which is far lower than what the House originally suggested. Senator Bill Posey, Republican from Rockledge, explained. ‘If we limit the number of machines and set too high a tax then we drive the revenue to places that we don’t get any tax from,’ he said, referring to untaxed Indian casino gaming.

The House bill calls for a flat 55 percent tax rate on casino slot machines, although the original Senate bill set the rate at 45 percent. Now, with the amended Senate bill, the first $125 million in slots revenues will face a 35 percent tax rate. So how does the sliding scale tax rate fit in? Casino slot machines that make revenue valued over $500 million will get the previously decided 55 percent rate. It is clear to see that gambling and casino slot machines are causing disagreement between state representatives.

According to legislative analysts, lawmakers should order a lower tax rate to be set on casino slots machines because lower taxes will bring in greater revenues into the state for educational purposes and public school funding. Many education lobbyists said they hope this week’s special session will produce a ‘commercially reasonable’ bill. If this tax reform works, and a large portion of casino slot machine revenues is retained, the Florida public school system could stand to benefit greatly for many years to come.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.