The House passed a bill that promises to gradually lower state taxes on the state’s race track casinos if the tracks dump their lawsuit against the state which could potentially cost Iowa taxpayers 150-million dollars. Republican Representative Scott Raecker of Urbandale says he can think of “one-hundred-50-million reasons” to vote for the deal. Raecker called it a “creative compromise.” Representative Steve Lukan, a Republican from New Vienna, says cutting the tracks’ state tax bill is a good move because he says the tracks’ profits are better spent locally than in Des Moines. Lukan says it’ll keep more money in the hands of local charitable organizations than in Des Moines in the hands of “evil committee chair people.” Representative Joseph Hutter, a Republican from Bettendorf, says it was important to end the gambling tax stand-off. Hutter says it puts the minds of casino workers at ease, and lets legislators leave town knowing the issue’s been taken care of. Only three members of the House opposed the measure. Representative Ed Fallon, a democrat from Des Moines, says the deal bugs him because the state stands a good chance of winning the case. Fallon says the gambling industry finally agreed to a compromise because it believes it’ll lose the case, and he calls the bill a mistake. Senate Republicans don’t like that House action on gambling taxes either, and say they’ll either kill the bill or alter it significantly. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller argued the state’s position before the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday.
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