Gambling In Texas Essay

2103 Words 9 Pages
<p>In 1995, Texas proposed a referendum for the legalization of casino gambling.

However, perhaps due to Texas' extreme conservatism, many Texans opposed the idea. Since then, other states have joined Nevada to allow unlimited gambling in their state. From record economic growth to billions of revenue dollars for state expenditures, these states continue to reap from their bold decision while Texas remains watching from the sidelines. Rather than enjoying the same profits as its fellow states, Texas has found it hard to meet its state budget year after year. Instead of taking the road well-traveled--increasing taxes, Texas should take a page from the success stories of these states and legalize casino gambling as a legitimate way
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For this reason, when the state needs more money, it has to raise sales tax or cut department spending. For example, in 1984 the sale tax was 4.25 percent, but only six years later it rose to 6.25 percent. Furthermore, cities, counties, transit authorities, and other taxing agents may levy a sales tax up to an additional 2% combined, for a total maximum sales tax of 8.25 percent (Lavine 11).

Despite the elevating taxes, many people argue that Texas has a very low combined state and local tax burden. This is only true at the state level, but at the local level Texas has a very high tax burden - 9th in sales tax per capita and 15th in property tax per capita (Lavine 15). The state managed to portray this image only because Texas pushes funding obligations down to the local level, such as public education. For this reason, cities such as Houston must implement high property taxes to ensure adequate funding for police enforcement, public transportation, and education. Because of the tremendous shortfall this year, the city of Houston resorted to layoff teachers and security personnel to meet budget requirements. Therefore, instead of continued tax hikes or sacrificing much needed state services, why not allow for casino gambling as an alternative source of revenue for the state? The direct economic impact of casino gambling is clear by looking at our neighboring states.

Despite the economic impact of casino gambling, debates exist over

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