Questions are raised about a proposal to tax video machines suspected of being illegal gambling devices. Still, the bill advances in the Unicameral.
LB 70, sponsored by Sen. Paul Schumacher of Columbus, would impose a 10% tax on suspect machines unless the owner can prove they aren’t used illegally for gambling.
Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha suggested during legislative floor debate that an unscrupulous owner could sneak in a video terminal for historic horse racing.
“And would be able to operate until a tax commissioner had a court ruling that those machines were not legal,” McCoy stated, adding that the problem had occurred in Kentucky with the issue still tied up in litigation.
Sen. Burke Harr of Omaha, who has raised questions of his own about the bill, saw nothing wrong with using the tax to ferret out illegal gambling devices, arguing the state needed some way to insure owners of these relatively new machines are acting within the law.
“I understand what Sen. McCoy is saying, but I think it’s maybe a little misplaced,” Harr told lawmakers during debate.
The bill will be subject to another round of debate before lawmakers take a final vote on the measure.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]