Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Herald Argus

Herald Argus:
"‘Taxation and regulation’
While State Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, voted against the gambling bill earlier this spring, State Rep. Tom Dermody, R-La Porte, supported it based on the fact that it continued to allow non-profit groups like veterans organizations to sell tip boards and pull-tabs.
Still, Dermody said he’s disheartened that the legislation could put bar owners out of business, and vowed to fight to amend the law.
“You hate to see business shut down, especially when you make it legal for one group and not for the other. We stopped halfway,” he said. “We’ll come back and fight another day.”
That fight will likely center on what Pelath refers to as “taxation and regulation,” which would legalize tip boards and pull tabs by taxing them at the state level.
“We have riverboats and horse tracks and then we’re going to take it out on taverns and that doesn’t seem the route to go,” said Pelath.
“Owning a tavern is an extremely tough business,” he said. “They are operating at small profit margins.”
Many tavern owners said that to scrape by until the law is hopefully amended, they will likely have to reduce spending and raise prices.
For now, however, all they can do is swallow the bitter pill the state has served them.
“The state isn’t doing anything for us,” said Ted Fouth, president of the La Porte, Porter and Starke County Tavern Association. “It’s getting tighter and tighter. We can’t even breathe.”"
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