Letters: The casino could harm the local economy; the diminishing value of Penn State; Playing politics with lives; A fair tax on electric vehicles


The Impact Report for the proposed Nittany Mall Casino estimates that the casino will generate an economic impact of $ 121.6 million and approximately $ 2 million in tax revenue for the Township of College per year. These numbers look good, but they are misleading.

On average, a casino must receive more from its customers than it pays or it will go bankrupt. Since residents of central Pennsylvania have limited discretionary income, the money they spend at a casino cannot be spent on other businesses in the area. The casino will therefore redirect the existing money flows from other businesses in the region to itself.

The casino developers claim that the casino will attract tourists from outside central Pennsylvania to our area. However, our neighboring large towns already have their own casinos, and residents of these towns are unlikely to travel several hours to visit a small casino at the Nittany Mall. Even when people come to State College for other events such as soccer games, graduation ceremonies, and the Arts Fest, the casino won’t be big enough to accommodate more than a small fraction of these visitors during their stay. at State College. Instead, the casino will derive most of its revenue from repeat customers within driving distance of central Pennsylvania.

The impact report predicts that the casino will eventually generate annual revenue of $ 116 million, most of which will come from our own community. Some will go towards paying rent, maintenance and employee salaries, and most of those expenses will stay here. However, the casino will also pay more than $ 48 million in tax revenue per year, of which less than $ 3 million will go to local governments. Over $ 45 million in taxes will be paid to the state each year, and those taxes will likely be spent outside of central Pennsylvania. In addition, substantial profits from the casino will flow to Bally’s Corporation, which is headquartered in Rhode Island, operates casinos in 10 other states and has no other investments in Pennsylvania. Bally’s is in business to make money for its investors and has no obligation to reinvest its profits in our community.

Unless the casino attracts the majority of its annual income from tourists from outside central Pennsylvania, it will end up extracting substantial money from our local economy rather than bringing it extra money. Additionally, any revenue the casino captures will be taken away from existing entertainment businesses or businesses that create durable goods, capital goods, infrastructure, or job training that could potentially add value to our community down the road. – whereas the entertainment that the casino provides will cease to exist as soon as it has been consumed.

The license for the Nittany Mall Casino has not yet been approved and there is still time to stop its construction. Please email your public comments to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board at [email protected] and mention “Nittany Mall Casino” in the subject line of your email. College Township is following these public comments at https://www.collegetownship.org/casino_information/index.php.

Andrew Shaffer,
State university

Playing politics with people’s lives

When the history of the Coronavirus is written, it’s hard to predict who will come across as the biggest fools: the Republican politicians who lied that protecting themselves and others by wearing a mask and getting vaccinated would take away your freedoms, or their rights. followers who actually believed them.

One thing is certain, however. From Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to Pennsylvania Senator Jake Corman, Republican leaders will have a lot to answer for because they have played politics with people’s lives. They could have been heroes, more like zeros.

There have been 4.6 million deaths from COVID-19 worldwide; over 660,000 in the United States Tragically for all of us, this is not enough for DeSantis, Corman and their fellow Republicans. They are doing everything they can to increase those numbers.

Bob potter,
Boalsbourg

University leaders responsible for ranking Penn State’s low value

The latest US News ranking of colleges and universities has just been published. How did Penn State do it?

Among all the Big Ten universities, Penn State finished 14th of 14 in “best values” (and 163rd in the country). Even more important than the ranking is the underlying factual data that went into the ranking.

Financially, Penn State has the highest tuition and fees for students in the state, and the lowest level of college scholarships awarded, making Penn State the least affordable of all universities. Big Ten public. When it comes to academic quality, Penn State has fallen to 10th place in the Big Ten in standardized test scores. These two factors – price and quality – have combined to place Penn State last.

It wasn’t like that before, and it shouldn’t stay that way. But it took a decade of appalling academic leadership and governance to get us to this point. And it will stay that way – and will continue to get worse – unless and until those charged with governance at Penn State recognize the issues, and why they exist, and do meaningful and fair work to change things. .

Barry fenchak,
State university

What a Fair Electric Vehicle Tax Would Look Like

In a recent column, John Hook proposed an electric vehicle (EV) tax in an effort to establish fair taxation of electric vehicles and conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. He proposed an annual tax of $ 2,100 on pure electric vehicles and an annual tax of $ 1,050 on, I guess, plug-in hybrids. Conventional hybrids, like my wife’s Prius, only run on gasoline, but use the electric motor / generator and battery to adapt to conditions and increase the overall efficiency of the system. For the record, I drive a plug-in hybrid sedan.

Now, compared to the proposed taxes, I have considered my friend’s Tesla S. It’s a large, expensive sedan similar in size and price to the BMW 7-series. With the big engine and a price tag of $ 100,000, the BMW 750i has an EPA average fuel efficiency rating of 19 mpg. So, for every kilometer driven, the owner of the big BMW pays 3.1 cents in gasoline tax to the state of Pennsylvania. To clarify, that’s 58.7 cents in tax per gallon divided by 19 miles per gallon. So if the big BMW drives 12,000 miles a year, the owner will pay $ 371 in gasoline taxes to the state of Pennsylvania. In my opinion, it is fair that the owner of the Tesla S should pay a similar amount if they cover a similar distance. However, it is not fair to tax the owner of Tesla S at $ 2,100.

As for us, owners of plug-in hybrids, many of these vehicles are also available in a conventional ICE-powered version. In the case of my car, the ICE version has an EPA average fuel economy rating of 28 mpg. So, for every mile driven, the owner of the conventional version of my car pays 2.1 cents in gasoline tax to the state of Pennsylvania. Assuming 12,000 miles per year, this conventional model owner will pay $ 252 in state gasoline taxes. Now is it fair to charge me a similar amount to the owner of the plug-in hybrid? Not really, because 36% of my mileage is on gasoline. It would be double taxation. So the “fair” or gasoline tax replacement cost for me would be 64% of $ 252, or $ 160 for 12,000 miles of travel.

It is therefore an attempt to demonstrate how fair taxation of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles could be carried out. Either way, some form of annual odometer recording will be required, but the tax amounts are much lower than Mr. Hook envisioned. At the levels he proposed, there would be little reason to buy or operate an EV.

As for the capture of taxes from out-of-state electric vehicle drivers? Good luck.

Jon Eaton,
Bellefonte


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