March 14, 2007

Hallelujah for slot machines!

Once again slot machines have saved PA! Thank you Ed Rendell for your genius plan. Why didn’t anybody come up with such a glorious plan years ago! Not only will we have lower property taxes, but we will still have the Pittsburgh Penguins and they will be playing in a new arena for the next 30 years! All thanks to Slot Machines! (Let’s just forget about and minimize all of the down falls of slot machines and gambling in general.)

It is good to know that the people of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County (which are really the only people who may benefit) won’t have to pay for the arena. The only “losers” here would be all the gambling addicts oh and of course their families!

The details in case you haven’t heard:

30-Year Agreement

The expect cost of the new arena will be $290 million.

The Penguins will pay $4.2 million per year ($3.6 million until the arena opens and then a $400,000 parking surcharge is added.)

Don Barton (slot owner) will pay $7.5 million per year.

The state will pay $7.5 million per year.

This money will be used to pay the bond payments each year.

Rendell claims the $7.5 million per year the state is to pay will come from slot machine revenue. Until then, the money will come out of an economic development fund (read tax payer money)!

The $7.5 million will (eventually) come from slot machine revenue (if there is any ever available). Remember, only a certain percentage of revenue is guaranteed to be used for property tax relief. The rest will be used at the governor’s discretion.

All in all, the outcome isn’t as bad as what it could have been. At least at this point in time it does not appear as though the taxpayers will get stuck with the entire bill for the new arena.

On the other hand, the state will not significantly benefit from the new arena. The local area will benefit (at least during the hockey season), although I am sure homes and other buildings will need to be demolished before construction of the new arena begins, the plans are still being reviewed.

We will just need to see what the future brings.

A penny for your thoughts or $7.5 million for an arena…. Either way slot machine gambling saved the day!

(Just in case anyone doesn’t understand sarcasm, I do not support slot machine gambling!)

No comments: