Treasurer Rob McCord has outlined a plan for Pennsylvania’s 10 operating casinos to begin repaying loans totaling $63.9 million. The loans, made from the Property Tax Relief Reserve Fund between 2007 to 2010, were used to help finance the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s operations during the early years of gambling in the state.
The state’s fiscal code requires the Gaming Control Board to adopt a repayment plan by June 30, but stipulates that casinos need not begin making payments until at least 11 licensed facilities have begun operating slot machines.
Under McCord’s proposal, each operating gambling facility will be assessed a payment each year of a 10-year period. The assessment will equal a share of the total outstanding loan amount based on the proportion of the facility’s gross slot machine terminal revenue (GTR) the previous fiscal year compared with the statewide GTR for the same period from all operating facilities.
McCord is also the legal custodian of the Property Tax Relief Fund and serves as an ex-officio member of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. He said questions about when the 11th facility — the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in southwestern Pennsylvania — will open should prompt lawmakers to amend the fiscal code to require those loan repayments to begin in July.
The gaming board awarded Nemacolin its license on April 14.