Senate republicans are trying to strike a new deal with the state’s racetrack casinos over taxes. Senate president Jeff Lamberti says the tax rate approved in the House leaves the state 18-million dollars short. Lamberti proposes taxes that’re two to three percent more than the House measure, depending on the track. Lamberti says the racetracks are cold to the idea.He says they’re not very happy about it, and he says that’s to be expected as they thought they had a deal. He says it’s not his fault the numbers didn’t work out. Lamberti hopes the change doesn’t derail the entire gambling bill.He says they’ve come a long way so he hopes they can make it work, as he says if it derails, they’re worse off. Senator Lamberti says if the racetracks don’t accept the higher tax on their profits, the state will stick them with a property tax that collects even more. He says they have to resolve the tax issue before the session is over. He says a cooperative settlement is the preferred route, but he says a “more punitive” bill is the other alternative. A lobbyist for the Dubuque track is declining comment on the new tax proposal, while an attorney for Prairie Meadows says he’ll have to present it to the non-profit board that runs the facility.
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