Racetrack managers hoping for a state tax break will have to wait. The Iowa House tabled a bill that would have lowered taxes for the tracks in Altoona, Council Bluffs and Dubuque. Bill backers were blindsided by an amendment that would have banned credit card machines from the tracks. Representative Scott Raecker, a republican from Urbandale, says credit cards are too often used to bankroll gambling — and eventually bankrupt the gambler. He says gambling appears to be the single biggest driver of bankruptcy.Representative Bob Brunkhorst, a republican from Waverly, says it’s ridiculous to give the big-time gambling interests a tax break.Representative Steve Sukup, a republican from Dougherty, says credit card machines should not be next to the slot machines.Once it became apparent a majority of House members would vote to rip the credit card machines out of the casinos, debate on the bill was suspended. House Speaker Brent Siegrist, a republican from Council Bluffs, says the issue won’t come up again ’til next year. State taxes on the tracks are to go to 36 percent eventually, but the tax on the riverboat casinos is just 20 percent. The bill would have frozen the track taxes at 32 percent. Siegrist says there’s a real concern Dubuque’s track will go under if the taxes go to 36 percent.
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