Thursday, June 04, 2009

Williams calls Beshear out on slots

Just two hours after Gov. Steve Beshear had a press conference to claim that video lottery terminals will save the horse industry and provide revenue to the state, Senate President David Williams called another press conference to say that they won't.

Williams offered an alternative plan that would place a 10% surcharge on lottery tickets, establish a 1.5% tax on out-of-state wagering at Kentucky tracks -- which currently goes untaxed -- and other measures to supplement horse racing purses to better allow the Kentucky horse industry to compete with other states without expanding gambling.

Williams said about 30% of the money he is proposing for purse supplements would come directly from the General Fund, comparing the move to tax increment financing of about $18 million a year.

Williams said he hoped that Gov. Beshear would put his proposal on the special session call and suggested that if he didn't, nothing would come out of the session.