Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Taxpayers could benefit from slots income

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Rebecca Wagner makes an intelligent argument against slots, but I'd like to respectfully disagree ("Resist relying on slots to generate state funds," Aug. 13 letter).

We already support a very large gambling industry: The Maryland Lottery. People who want to gamble will gamble, so why not keep the profits at home. Any additional source of funds to defray continuing costs to taxpayers will be most welcome.

If the legislation is well constructed and if the income is properly directed, every taxpayer should benefit. (Note my emphasis is on taxpayers — not horse farmers or casino owners.)

I recall when the New Jersey was passing the legislation authorizing casinos, there were specific targeted assistance measures, one of which was very close to home. My elderly mother was able to get a prescription filled for $2. I cannot cite others, but I'm sure the language and intent is available.

Consider neighboring Delaware where once one becomes 65 there is a presumption that one no longer has school-age children and the state allows a $500 reduction in property taxes. This could be just one aspect of the legislation allowing slots.

Ms. Wagner might be willing to finance services by sharing the burden of taxes; I've done my share. As a retired senior, without the prospect of increased income, I believe I speak for many people who would welcome any respite from our current tax burden.

Ted Task, Rockville