Gambling interests will meet privately with key legislators next week to discuss the status of the industry, and a new deal on the taxes it pays the state. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled the state taxes for the race tracks are inequitable because they’re much higher than the rate for the riverboats, so the tracks are owed over 100-million dollars in back taxes. But the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, and the Legislature’s top Republican says lawmakers will wait for that ruling as it’s likely to go in the state’s favor. But Jeff Lamberti, a Republican from Ankeny who’s chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has had ongoing discussions with the gambling industry about a deal Lamberti says he understands how difficult a gambling debate is in the legislature, but he says everything has to be on the table, not just the taxation issue. Lamberti says the tracks want the same, lower tax rate as the riverboats, while the state doesn’t want to pay the 112-million dollars in back taxes. Lamberti suggests a deal is somewhere in the middle — and the prospect of having Nebraska approve gambling on its side of the Missouri river is a factor. Lamberti says there are economic forces out there that impact the industry, and legislators need to consider a broader perspective rather than just focusing on the tax issue.
You are here: / Legislators to meet with gambling interests to talk about tax ruling