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The Office of Bucks County Senator Tommy Tomlinson

From The Office of Bucks County Senator Tommy Tomlinson

Video Game Terminals (“VGT’s”) are a Bad Bet for Pennsylvania.

An Op-Ed by State Senator Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks) 

I believe my good friends and colleagues who are supporting video gaming terminals (VGTs) in the State Legislature are mistaken, and I see numerous reasons to oppose VGT legislation.   Just a few of the many reasons are: VGTs will not raise anywhere near the amount of money that their proponents claim they will; VGT legislation will cause an increase in property taxes; VGTs will hurt seniors; and VGTs are bad social policy. 

Proponents of VGT’s claim they will generate from $300 to $400 million dollars a year for Pennsylvania.  That’s not the case.  The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue testified to the House Gaming Oversight Committee that VGT’s would only result in a small net increase to the state of $47 million dollars.  To be clear, a net gain of only $47 million dollars, NOT $300 to $400 million.

You may be asking yourself, why is there such a drastic difference between the Department of Revenue’s number and the VGT proponent’s number?  The answer is simple.  Other state revenue sources that will be cannibalized if VGT’s are legalized are not included in the $300 to $400 million projection.

For example, VGT’s will hurt the State Gaming Fund, which is used to offset your property taxes. The Department of Revenue projects a decrease in the State Gaming Fund by more than $200 million next year if VGT’s are legalized.  If $200 million is eliminated from that fund, you, the property owner, will have to make up the difference.  Practically speaking, the VGT proposal is nothing more than a back-door property tax increase taking money out of your pocket and putting it into the pockets of large Nevada and Illinois based VGT operators.

Another fund impacted is the State Lottery Fund.  If VGT’s are legalized the Department of Revenue projects a decrease in lottery sales between $923 million and $2.3 billion over the next ten years.  That means between $923 million and $2.3 billion less to programs that support seniors such as PACE/PACENET, Shared/Free Rides, Property Tax/Rent Rebates, Long-Term Living Services and more.  So it should come as no surprise that the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging opposes VGT’s.

Another major issue with VGT’s is their social impact.  When you put slot machines in over 15,000 bars and taverns in the state, problems are sure to arise.  Social problems like underage gambling and increased gambling are real issues. Don’t take my word for it, just look at South Carolina. South Carolina had legalized VGT’s.  It ultimately got to the point where almost every bar, tavern, or restaurant in the state had VGT’s and people were fed up.  Because of the negative social aspects of VGT’s, banning them was one of the driving issues of the 1998 South Carolina Gubernatorial Election.  Not surprisingly, the anti-VGT candidate won and VGT’s were banned in the state.  Knowing that history, it should come as no surprise that polling on the issue in Pennsylvania shows two-thirds of our population is against VGT’s.  

Overall, VGT’s are a bad bet for Pennsylvania.  They won’t generate the money they claim to generate, they’ll hurt property taxpayers, they’ll hurt seniors, and they will hurt the Commonwealth. Call your legislator and ask them to oppose VGT’s. 

Sincerely,

Robert “Tommy’ Tomlinson, State Senator 6th District   — 215-638-1784

The post Video Game Terminals (“VGT’s”) are a Bad Bet for Pennsylvania. appeared first on Senator Robert Tomlinson.

Tomlinson to Host July 16 Ceremony To Honor Local Vietnam Veterans

HARRISBURG — Senator Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks) will host an event in July to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the conflict in Vietnam and honor veterans who served during that time period for their service and sacrifice.

The ceremony will be held from   a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 16 at the Cairn University, 200 Manor Avenue, Langhorne, PA 19047.

Tomlinson said the commemorative event will be held in conjunction with the Department of Defense as part of a nationwide tribute to Vietnam veterans. A special Vietnam veteran’s lapel pin has been produced as part of the program and will be distributed to attending veterans and widows of Vietnam veterans.

“Many of those who served and made great sacrifices during the Vietnam War era do not receive the recognition that they deserved when they returned from their tours,” Tomlinson said. “This ceremony is an opportunity to show them the respect and thanks that they rightfully earned.” 

In order to be recognized at one of the events and receive the commemorative pin, a recipient must be a United States military veteran who served on active duty at any time during the period of November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of stationing location. For additional information regarding the National Events to commemorate the Vietnam War, please visit http://www.vietnamwar50th.com.

Questions regarding the event may be directed to Michele Sutter, in Senator Tomlinson’s office at 215-638-1784

Veterans who would like to request information related to the valuable state benefits, programs and services offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affair may also visit https://register.dmva.pa.gov/.

CONTACT: Michele Sutter (215) 638-1784.

The post Tomlinson to Host July 16 Ceremony To Honor Local Vietnam Veterans appeared first on Senator Robert Tomlinson.

Tomlinson Announces State Grants to Bristol Township, Penndel Borough

(HARRISBURG) – Bristol Township and Penndel Borough, Bucks County, have been awarded a total of $591,111 in state grants make improvements to its wastewater treatment facilities, according to Senator Tommy Tomlinson (R-6).

Tomlinson said grants were awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) under its PA Small Water and Sewer Grant Program.

Bristol Township will use its $347,833 state grant to replace the emergency generator at its wastewater treatment plant.  The existing generator at the plant is past its useful life, in poor condition and leaking oil.  Due to its age, finding replacement parts is difficult.  The new, larger diesel generator will be capable of powering all essential equipment in the case of a power outage.  In addition, the electrical controls will be upgraded, the transfer switch will be replaced and the generator will be relocated outside.

 Penndel Borough will use its $243,278 grant to upgrade a pump station and implement an inflow and infiltration removal program.   The proposed project includes upgrading Pump Station No 2 and repairing 18,750 linear feet of sewer main over the course of three years.  Currently the wastewater generated by the borough flows into the Neshaminy Interceptor, which often becomes over capacity and overflows.   Upgrading the pump station will reduce these overflows, particularly during wet weather, protecting water quality.

 “I’m pleased that residents in these municipalities will benefit from better water quality and distribution as a result of these project,” Tomlinson said. “This funding is an important resource for small communities that seeking to address water and sewer issues.”

CONTACT: Carol Milligan (717) 787-6725

 

The post Tomlinson Announces State Grants to Bristol Township, Penndel Borough appeared first on Senator Robert Tomlinson.

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