This week's 'Ask Evan' question comes from Larry M. Larry asks, "Before Ed Rendell got gambling legalized in Pennsylvania, he promised that he would use proceeds from gambling in Pennsylvania towards eliminating property taxes, or at least for the elderly. What ever happened to this idea?"
Lets start with the timeline of all of this. Slot machines appeared in PA in 2006. Table games came on board in 2010, and recently online gambling became legal.
As for your question, I reached out to Republican State Rep Dan Moul for an answer. In his words, "former Governor Rendell and the legislature sold Pennsylvanians pie in the sky." The property tax relief gained from gambling is the homestead exclusion which is a small deduction property owners see on their school property tax bill received in the fall. In fact, according to the state dept of education, the average savings in 2018 was around 175 dollars per homeowner.
Rep Moul went on to explain that the Governor with the majority party in charge at the time even took money from gaming to build an addition to the Philadelphia Convention Center, Pittsburgh Penguins arena and many other projects around the state that has nothing to do with school property taxes. On top of that, when table games were authorized Rep Moul says none of the gaming proceeds from that expansion are deposited into the property tax relief fund. Rep Moul believes property tax relief was used as an excuse to get gaming legalized in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
If you have question you'd like to ask, send an email to AskEvan@FOX43.com. Put 'Ask Evan' in the subject line. You can also reach out to me on Facebook at Evan Forrester FOX43. Whatever the topic I'll do my best to track down answers you are looking for.