Bucks County Herald

Perkasie budget calls for no tax hike

Council adopts resolution prohibiting mini-casinos

MELINDA RIZZO

Perkasie Borough Council unanimously voted to advertise a roughly $17.3 million preliminary budget for 2018, ahead of its next business meeting.

Council is expected to vote on the spending plan Dec.18.

Praising staff for cost savings measures, Council President Jim Ryder said the budget is roughly $1.1 million less than the 2017 budget.

A public hearing will be held ahead of the Dec. 18 vote, as council considers adopting the 2018 tax rate, which officials expect to remain the same, Ryder said.

In other news: Council unanimously voted to adopt a resolution prohibiting the establishment of mini-casinos within borough limits.

The move is required under Pennsylvania Act 42, passed by the legislature on Oct. 26, which expands legalized gaming in the commonwealth.

Cities, townships and boroughs are required to vote to prohibit mini-casino facilities before Dec. 31, in order to opt out of the mandates under Act 42, the borough’s solicitor said.

Under the new law, mini-casinos, known as Category 4, may not be located within a 25-mile radius of an existing standard casino (Category 1, 2 or 3), unless the mini-casino is owned and operated by the parent casino company.

According to a U.S. News and World Report article published Oct. 26, Pennsylvania’s gaming revenues reached $1.4 billion in industry taxes for the most recent fiscal year.

Mini-casinos may have from 30 to 40 table games with a minimum of 300 slot machines and not more than 750 slot machines, borough officials said. Act 42 authorizes up to 10 of these facilities to open in Pennsylvania.

Officials said municipalities could opt in at a later time, but the window is from now until Dec. 31 to opt out, in writing to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

After Dec. 31, they will not be permitted to prohibit the location of mini casinos within their borders without a resolution on the record.

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