The Greater Baltimore Committee says slot proposal on upcoming referendum makes sense
The Greater Baltimore Committee is announcing its support for passage of Maryland's slots
proposal and urged voters to approve it during the November 4 statewide
“The GBC has determined that this slots proposal makes
sense," GBC President & CEO Donald C. Fry said in a statement released
by the group comprised of business CEOs and top-level business executives. “It
is a reasonable way to provide needed additional revenues to our state, to stop
the hemorrhaging of discretionary spending and revenue that is currently going
into the coffers of neighboring states, and to provide the citizens of Baltimore City with an opportunity to benefit from
much-needed property tax relief."
Slots legislation requires that 5.5 percent of slots
revenue would go to local jurisdictions where slots are located, and that a
significant portion of Baltimore City's share be used to reduce property taxes
and for public school construction. With the state government currently facing
declining revenues as the national economic downturn begins to impact Maryland, passage of the slots proposal will play a vital
role in keeping Maryland
on an even fiscal keel, Fry said.
He emphasized that a major bond rating agency has
acknowledged that the passage of the slots referendum is important to the
state's future financial standing. "The bond rating agencies know that
should the slots referendum not pass that it will be challenging for our
governor and state legislative leaders to cover the magnitude of the budget gap
that will exist without some Draconian steps."
"Failure of the slots referendum would place even
more fiscal pressure on the governor and lawmakers to find revenue
sources," Fry noted. "They would not just cut budgets. They would
seek additional revenues and business is a likely target."
Fry noted that the slots plan before the voters
addresses key elements of the position the GBC has taken during the five years
that the General Assembly has debated the slots issue. Key measures sought by
the GBC include a bidding process for gaming licenses, slots venues at
potential destination locations, and maximum financial recovery of slots.
Leading Business Group Supports Slots in Maryland
September 17, 2008