Friday, January 23, 2004
Earmarking Gambling Revenues
When state lotteries are introduced, sometimes the revenues are earmarked for politically popular programs, such as education. There's always the possibility that such earmarking will simply divert other funds that would have gone to those programs, however. To counter this tendency, some jurisdictions set up new programs, such as Georgia's HOPE scholarships and Britain's "Good Causes". Now Richwood, Louisiana, is looking once again at allowing video poker. The funds raised by the poker terminals would not be earmarked, exactly, but they do seem to be destined to pay off Richwood's considerable debt. What is the nature of that debt?: "The town owes the city of Monroe more than $527,000 in sewer service fees. Monroe has sued the town to collect the money after years of trying to work out payment agreements."