- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Wednesday’s Maryland Independent inaccurately described me as being opposed to allowing slots at the proposed Colonial Beach, Va., site [“July session could OK Potomac slots”].
I preliminarily supported a request by Charles County’s Annapolis delegation by signing a letter to Sheila Hixson, chairwoman of the House of Delegates Ways and Means Committee, along with County Commissioners Bobby Rucci and Debra Davis, a majority of the board of commissioners, supporting the site.
My full support is obviously contingent on the proposal going through the necessary legislative process as well as allowing additional opportunity for public input.
My concern with casinos, which was accurately reported in the Wednesday article, is the negative impact that slots might have on citizens of our county who can least afford the regressive nature of investing in any form of gambling.
I understand that this, however, is not a problem at the Colonial Beach site since more than 90 percent of those going to the Colonial Beach location will be from outside of Maryland. And given the large possibility that Prince George’s County might have a casino in Oxon Hill, any of our citizens desiring to gamble would have ample opportunity to do so at National Harbor.
It makes no sense to me for the county and state to summarily forgo more than $50 million in potential revenue without at least being open to additional information regarding the proposal. In the county’s fiscal 2013 budget, there is an estimated multimillion-dollar deficit. It is projected that the Colonial Beach proposal will bring $5 million a year to Charles and $45 million to Maryland.
I cannot in good conscience close the door on at least exploring the virtues of pursuing this potential revenue source.
It is certainly a better option than presuming that raising the property tax rate is the only revenue enhancement option that we have at our disposal to consider.
Reuben B. Collins II, Waldorf
The writer is the vice president of the Charles County commissioners.