Casino revenues: Who will resist the temptation?
When the U.S. economy finally takes off, so will state tax revenue. New Hampshire's budget woes are not caused by a lack of taxing power. They are caused by a lack of economic growth combined with a lack of state spending restraint, which is why the rush to authorize a slot-machine casino in New Hampshire is so short-sighted.
Last week the state Senate voted 16-8 to bring a casino to New Hampshire. Support came from the usual suspects - Lou "Diamond" D'Allesandro, D-Millenium Gaming, and Chuck Morse, R-Salem, principally - and new converts. Sen. Molly Kelly, D-Keene, for example, is not what one would call a gambling enthusaist. She voted for a casino, she said, because the state really needs the money.
The state's current revenue problems, though, are more economic than structural in nature. Grafting a casino onto the state's revenue structure will not solve them. Though we are not sure how well she gets the first part, Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth, was a voice of reason last week in explaining the second.
Casino revenues, she correctly observed, are never as robust as promised, and they are always unreliable. They will be no panacea for New Hampshire's current budget problems, and the tide of other problems that washes in with them will cause trouble for this state forever after.
Though we seldom see eye to eye with Sen. Fuller-Clark, she deserves a lot of credit for refusing to be seduced by the Casino God's promise of revenue riches. The economy's temporary struggles are no justification for permanently changing the culture of New Hampshire. May the House remember that.
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paul cote said:
I'm guessing one of my children could have written a more compelling arguement against a casino. However let me help write one for the opposite side. First of all, please spare me about a casino ruining the charm of NH. A quick drive through Manchester will take care of any misgivings anyone might have about the so called "charm", that left a long time ago. The truth of the matter is if this casino will generate jobs and revenue, no matter how big or small, it should be done. People need jobs. A Casino will add JOBS and that is what this state needs. Why let everyone who gambles bring their money to Massachusetts. While the backwards state is slow they have approved casino's and once the proper state and town officials have been paid off they will award them out and open within a year. By the way people like "MARTHA FULLER CLARK" doesn't care about jobs or the middle class, she is a limosine liberal. Take a look at her property assessment, which by the way is in a TRUST. Think she knows how people are suffering. 1.4 MILLION DOLLAR HOME.. SHE IS REALLY SUFFERINIG. SO UNION LEADER, TAKE YOUR OPINION and put it where the sun don't shine. They are already gambling in SALEM already, tell me what the difference is.. DUH.MARTHA FULLER CLARK HOME ASSESSMENT BELOW> AND BY THE WAY, SHE HAS A 2 FAMILY VALUED AT 325k as well. SO ALMOST 2 MILLION IN REAL ESTATE, OH MARTHA, DO YOU FEEL OUR PAIN?Item Current Assessed Value FY 2011 Assessed Value Buildings 1,128,900 1,128,900 Extra Building Features 2,900 2,900 Outbuildings 21,200 21,200 Land 258,500 258,500 Total: 1,411,500
March 17, 2013 8:42 am
The Senate did not just vote to "bring a casino to New Hampshire" but to establish a new MONOPOLY on casino gambling. The editors are correct that a casino is not a source of pain-free state revenue; any available money is free for use on any politically powerful goal such as restored loot for UNH, just as we have already spent more money than the Sequester might save just on "Hurricane-Sandy-related" projects such as harbor-dredging. And the casino industry is sufficiently overbuilt that we will see diminishing returns, apart from the legislature's tendency to overstate benefits and understate costs, which it uses on all revenue proposals. Paul Cote: Sen. Clark is right on this one. Sure, if she kills the casino, she might advocate a broad-based tax, and that should be opposed. But the value of her house does not stereotype her, nor does economic success mean she can't relate to the rest of us, though other factors may. Your hatchet-job is senseless.
March 17, 2013 9:30 am
paul cote said:
Sorry Spike, but I stand by my post. It's not a Hatchett job if it's the truth. I know liberals like yourself have trouble with that. I just got done watching a clip of your president back in 2008 say that 9 Trillion in debt is unAmerican. Now that he's the pres. different story. Limosine liberals do not see the pain New Hampshire families are going through. I have seen it. Perhaps you have not. This is about jobs and only jobs. If you have a grudge against UNH it's probably because they threw you out for bad grades.. but no worries, I'm sure it's comfortable in your mothers basement.
March 17, 2013 9:48 am
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