Governments can become addicts, too - Sunday 12th of June 2005

I can’t help but notice how quickly the city of Detroit became addicted to the money the three casinos bring to its coffers. The same has to be said for the state’s cut of the casino tax, not to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars that the lottery brings into the state treasury as well.

 

What a dilemma the state has with its cigarette-tax income. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone quit smoking? Not on your life. Our state gets millions from smokers who are addicted to cigarettes and are supporting the addiction our state government has for “sin? taxes. If everyone quit smoking, the state would be out millions of dollars.And the state sure doesn’t want everyone to quit drinking. That would cost it many more millions of dollars in the loss of alcohol taxes.

 

Our government may preach a good line about the problems of drinking, smoking and gambling but when it comes to revenue, watch out, these folks are happy to see their constituents do all the smoking, drinking and gambling they are able to do, all in the name of revenue.

 

There seems to be something wrong when a government entity has to rely on casinos for tax revenues.

 

If the city of Detroit didn’t have the “temporary? casinos, it most definitely would be facing bankruptcy by now. Without the millions of dollars the casinos generate in tax revenue, our state and city governments would be facing an even bigger crisis than they are today.

 

Our governments have become addicted to gambling money and probably never will be able to kick the habit. I don’t expect that any mayor in the future is even going to think about trying to run this city without all that extra cash from the casinos.

 

You can’t help but wonder what the city did before it had casinos. You certainly don’t have to wonder why everyone in government was in such a hurry to get the temporary casinos in place: A cash cow was waiting to be milked.

 

We’ve got our casinos and our lotteries and our tobacco taxes and liquor taxes and we’re not going to get rid of them any time soon.

 

It’s too bad that we haven’t been able to use that money as an endowment instead of desperately supporting the general fund every year.

 

Now that would be interesting. A city with an endowment. But I’ll bet it will never happen.

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