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Alabama Casino Vote Rejected

5 May 2006

FORT PAYNE, Alabama – As reported by the Fort Payne Times-Journal: "The Fort Payne City Council on Tuesday rejected a proposal to sponsor a non-binding referendum on November ballots asking citizens to weigh in on the issue of taxing local legalized gambling.

"Ider businessman David Hammonds, who is pushing to bring a Native American gaming facility to Fort Payne, had asked the council to sponsor the referendum, essentially asking whether or not local citizens would favor authorizing collection of de facto tax revenues from the operation.

"However, Fort Payne City Attorney Rocky Watson said both he and legal authorities with the Alabama League of Municipalities concluded it would be illegal for the city to sponsor any type of non-binding referendum.

"Hammonds owns a portion of land off U.S. 11 in Fort Payne, near the north I-59 interchange, site of an ancient Indian burial ground.

"…The question Hammonds wants answered is whether or not local residents would support a 10 percent levy in lieu of taxes on legalized gaming operations, should such ever come to Fort Payne…"

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