From the (Havre de Grace) Record . . .
As I watch everyone in Harford County running around clawing each other over hotel room tax revenue that doesn’t yet exist, the folks over in Cecil County are busy figuring out how to spend their first millions from the slots casino in Perryville.
It’s water over the dam, but whose shoes would you rather be wearing?
. . .
On the other side of the Susquehanna, the money from Hollywood Casino Perryville has started to roll in, perhaps not the Biblical flood some hoped it might be, but it’s still real money. The casino generated about $1.9 million for Cecil County and the town of Perryville in its first four months of operation. Some of the locals are saying they can expect to divide up about $6 million in the first year, using the money to pay for police, water and sewer improvements, local road improvements, anything they can justify as being “impacted” by the casino.
The state law that brought slots gambling back to Maryland sort of takes control of the local money produced by the casino out of the hands of the Cecil County politicos. The county commissioners and town commissioners of Perryville can request funds for a particular use, but all spending has to be approved by what is called a local development council, which has to hold hearings before it makes any decisions. Of course, the politicos do the appointing of the council members, but at least the process is supposed to add another layer of transparency. When you have basically free money floating around and the government is involved, it’s always good to have more transparency.