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Bethlehem tax break proposed

17 April 2007

BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania – As reported by the Pennsylvania Express-Times: "City property owners would hit the jackpot under a proposal from the head of city council to cut taxes with casino revenue.

"Mayor John Callahan said the 'knee-jerk' response to the anticipated $8.7 million-a-year windfall shortchanges city financial, safety and social needs.

"The debate is getting rolling at least a year and a half before Las Vegas Sands Corp. opens its casino proposed for former Bethlehem Steel Corp. land on South Side. The company is eyeing a late 2008 start to slots and video poker gambling, although a Supreme Court battle could impact that timeline.

"Council President J. Michael Schweder put a resolution on tonight's meeting agenda requiring half the casino host fee go 'solely and exclusively to provide real estate tax relief to property owners' in Bethlehem. He said the measure would be referred to council's Finance Committee for review…"

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