Toepel, Vereb, Stephens Lead Charge to Keep Local Casino Revenue in Montgomery County
NORRISTOWN – Realizing the economic gains Montgomery County could reap from the Valley Forge Resort and Casino, local Reps. Marcy Toepel, Mike Vereb and Todd Stephens today joined county commissioners as they unveiled legislation that would redistribute the county share assessment of casino revenue to parks and nonprofit organizations across the county.
“Like many counties across the Commonwealth, Montgomery County has had to make cuts to its annual budget. My legislation would help ease the burden of county budget cuts to our local parks and important organizations,” said Toepel, author of this legislation. “Now is the time to seek out additional income sources to help offset the budget cuts to some of our county’s most treasured locations.”
“Our local casino revenue has the opportunity to become a successful revenue generator for our county parks and nonprofit groups and I’m glad my colleagues and I can work together to help achieve this goal,” said Vereb. “It makes sense to keep our local casino money and use it toward parks and organizations that are used and enjoyed by all residents of our communities.”
House Bill 2552 would change the state Gaming Act to ensure that the Montgomery County’s local share assessment for slots and table games would be specifically deposited into dedicated accounts for the purpose of supporting the maintenance and refurbishment of the parks and heritage sites throughout the county, as well as Mission Kids and Laurel House. Mission Kids and Laurel House are both county-funded services which assist local families in need.
Under this legislation, parks and heritage sites would receive 75 percent of the designated casino revenue, while Mission Kids and Laurel House would each receive 12.5 percent of the revenue.
The local share assessment was created to assist host counties and municipalities with the costs of having a casino in their area. For slot machine play, the act currently states that 2 percent of gross terminal revenue is distributed to the host county and 2 percent of the gross terminal revenue is distributed to the host municipality. Each host county and each municipality then have specific uses for the money as described in the act. As for table game play, the host county receives 1 percent of revenue and the host municipality also receives 1 percent.
As current law stipulates, the local share for slots and tables games is deposited into an account with the Commonwealth Financing Authority. This financing authority is to use the money exclusively for grants for projects in the county that qualify for the Business in Our Sites Program, the Tax Increment Financing Guarantee Program and the Water Supply and Waste Water Infrastructure Program.
Stephens worked closely with Toepel to ensure that this legislation would provide funding to Missions Kids and Laurel House.
“I’m pleased to work with this bipartisan coalition that includes Montgomery County Commissioners Josh Shapiro, Leslie Richards and Bruce Castor and my colleagues in state government to provide a dedicated funding stream for Montgomery County’s only child advocacy center, Mission Kids, and our only domestic violence shelter, Laurel House,” Stephens said. “Having worked with these organizations as a prosecutor, I’ve seen the important services they provide for our children and victims of domestic violence. It’s crucial we help them continue providing these services.”
This legislation awaits referral to a standing House committee. For more legislative information on these representatives, visit Toepel’s website at RepToepel.com, Vereb’s website at RepVereb.com, and Stephens’ website at RepToddStephens.com.
State Representative Marcy Toepel
147th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
State Representative Mike Vereb
150th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
State Representative Todd Stephens
151st District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Lauren Whetzel