Gaming association suspends funding grants - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Gaming association suspends funding grants

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- The Black Hawk County Gaming Association voted Monday night to immediately suspend granting any new funding to projects, citing the proposed increase in gaming taxes.

The BHCGA says that if the increase is approved, their revenue would drop by $2.5 million.

"In order to be good stewards to the current obligations and multi-year commitments previously awarded, the board suspended funding immediately. The organization is extremely proud of the $17 million which has been awarded to 175 different projects in the Cedar Valley. Because of the uncertainty of our future revenue, we felt it was important to wait until the state determines the tax rate before funding additional projects. We plan to honor the $8.2 million that has already been committed to area projects pending no adverse legislation," BHCGA Board President Don Hoth said in a written statement.

Hoth says the board is still accepting applications and he is confident funding of projects will resume once they know how much revenue they will have available.

The BHCGA holds the state non-profit gaming license for the Isle Casino and Hotel at Waterloo and currently gets 5.75 percent of the casino's adjusted gross receipts. That would drop to three percent if the proposed changes pass.

Gov. Terry Branstad has proposed the increase in gaming taxes as a way to pay for a cut in corporate and property tax rates.

The BHCGA disburses grants for property tax relief, capital projects and charitable donations in Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Chickasaw, Grundy and Tama counties.

The next funding application deadline for BHCGA funding is April 1.

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