The talk of the impact of the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision on gambling taxes continues in state government. The Director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the ruling that the state can’t tax racetracks at a higher rate than riverboats could deprive environmental programs of a key source of funding. Jeff Vonk says the gambling profits have been used to hire part-time workers at state parks during the busy season. He says they won’t be able to hire the workers without the money, and he says visitors to the state parks could see a serious impact on routine maintenance and upkeep. Vonk says some recreation improvement projects were put on hold as the department waited for the court ruling. He says he wonders how the legislature will find the five million dollars the governor has requested for new water quality initiatives. He says it would clearly be very difficult to fund an additional five million if they can’t even fund the current programs. Legislators have said they’ll find the money and will not make taxpayers foot the bill.
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