How Should We Use Casino Gaming Funds?

(Roman Oleinik/Wikimedia Commons)

By State Representative Rusty Kidd (I-Milledgeville)

If you were given control of one billion dollars per year in state funding, how would you spend it? Casino revenues are projected to net one billion dollars per year, and legislation for casino gaming is currently before your General Assembly. However, the debate as to where the funds should go is still on-going.

One possible solution is that funds could be allocated to a general treasury to be appropriated by the legislature each year to be used three ways:

  • Property Tax Relief
  • Healthcare
  • HOPE Scholarship Fund

Under this particular model, all interest from the funds, despite their initial allocation, would be directed towards property tax relief.

As committee hearings on casino gaming continue, decisions will be made within the coming weeks as to whether the revenue should solely fund the HOPE Scholarship or go towards one of the alternative proposals: keeping Georgia hospitals open through healthcare funding or reducing the growing tax burden through property tax relief.

While elected officials will ultimately be the ones who decide how state revenues are allocated, we constantly seek the input of our state agencies and constituents as to how they would like to see these funds used.

That being said, I encourage you to contact your elected officials to let them know NOW! Communicate your thoughts and opinions to my Capitol office at (404) 656-0202, or by email at rusty.kidd@house.ga.gov.

Together, we can ensure the future of our state’s most precious assets.

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