Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack will meet with gambling interests Wednesday to try and get some agreement on the dispute over gambling taxes. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the state couldn’t levy higher taxes on land-based casinos than it does on riverboat casinos. The U.S. Supreme Court, though, has said it will hear an appeal of the case next month. Vilsack says he hopes to get the gaming industry to work with both the House and Senate to get an agreement. Leaders in the republican-controlled Iowa Senate have come up with a plan that would radically change the gambling industry, while House Speaker Christopher Rants, a republican from Sioux City, says the Legislature doesn’t have time to debate the issue. Vilsack, a democrat, says they can’t wait on the high court.Vilsack says if they wait, they face problems with the rebuild infrastructure fund which distributes state gambling taxes for building projects. Vilsack says the gambling industry will be responsible if no agreement is reached. Vilsack says each side has something to lose. He says the gambling industry could easily lose the case and there would be pressure to increase the tax on the riverboats if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the casinos, and the state would then have to pay back 112 million dollars in back taxes. Vilsack says they can’t depend on the Senate plan, because it doesn’t have full support.Vilsack says at the end of the day, something has to happen that can pass the House and Senate. Vilsack will meet with representatives of the gambling industry and a spokesman says some legislators will also attend.
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