NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
MS. JUANITA HEAGAN
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Juanita Haegan?
MS. HAEGAN: For the record, my name is Juanita Haegan. I am a, the president of the Pleasanton Unified School District Board of Trustees and a director for the National School Board Association from the Pacific Region.
Proposition 5, the casino gambling initiative will not simply allow a continuation of current Indian gaming operations. The initiative would permit a dramatic expansion of unregulated, untaxed, casino gambling in virtually every county in California. It would reduce future state funding for public schools, reduce local tax revenues, generate staggering amount of local enforcement and infrastructure costs. These needs will compete with the schools for funding and it will provide no new revenue for our public schools. If adopted by the voters, Proposition 5 would result in the following:
Proposition 5 would allow more than 100 Indian tribes to open Nevada style casino gambling operations and lotteries that would directly compete with California lottery. As casino gambling and on-reservation lottery sales increase, California lottery sales will decline and so will the tax revenue the lottery now provides to out public schools.
The initiative does not impose tax on casino gambling, and therefore, won't provide any economic benefit to California's public schools. In effect, the initiative permits a billion dollar business to operate in California tax free.
The initiative would reduce local government tax revenues by diverting hundreds of millions of dollar per year in disposal income from taxable businesses to non-taxable gambling. It would further reduce tax revenues by allowing the casinos to open businesses, hotels, restaurants, and retail operations that operate tax free; reducing tax revenues from the businesses that do pay taxes.
The initiative would increase competition for the use of scarce local tax revenues, making it harder for schools to receive their fair share. Casinos will attract many millions of gamblers who in turn will place significant burdens on local government which must provide additional police protection, new roads, new schools, and increase services plus many other things.
The initiative exempts casino gambling operations from the local and state building codes, zoning ordinances, health and welfare codes, environmental laws and even collective bargaining laws. Communities near casinos won't be able to impose any reasonable restrictions on the operation of Indian gambling operations.
The initiative allows only minimum local or state oversight or regulation of casino gambling. The tribal casino operators regulate the gambling operations themselves. Whenever problems arise, whether they be law enforcement, environmental, traffic congestion, or health and safety issues; communities will be powerless to force the casino operators to assume the responsibly for them.
California communities and schools must be protected from unlimited, unregulated expansion of tribal casino gambling.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Thank you.