Casino Transfer Tax perhaps far less than estimated (4)

(4th in a series of posts on Wind Creek Casino)

Dana Grubb is a lifelong resident of the City of Bethlehem who worked 27 years for the City of Bethlehem in the department of community and economic development, as sealer of weights and measures, housing rehabilitation finance specialist, grants administrator, acting director of community and economic development, and deputy director of community development.

Gadfly:

I believe [the Casino Transfer Tax] will be far less than the City has estimated. Other business people agree with me. The deed transfer tax is only paid on the value of the real estate, not on the value of the business. The $1.3 billion purchase price is based in large part on the value that the current Sands has for earnings. I believe that the City should have budgeted much more conservatively because of this.

What would I do with this money? First, I’d give 1/2 mill back to the taxpayers, because the so-called Hirko Tax (1/2 mill) continues to be collected by the City despite the financing that paid that settlement being paid off in, I believe, 2015. Secondly, I’d take $500,000 to $1 million and place it in a “Rainy Day” fund so that the City would have a reserve. This should have been done from the start with the casino host fee. Had the City put just $250,000 aside annually, they’d be approaching a $2.5 million reserve.

Just like the casino host fee, this potential windfall for Bethlehem residents has been “spent” before it was ever received.

How sad for us.

Dana

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