This story originally ran on Aug. 9, 2017 on Fox 21. View the original story and video here.
Each year billions of dollars are spent on charitable gaming across the state of Minnesota. Sounds like a lot of money, but with increasing state taxes on gaming and the states percentages getting bigger and bigger. What’s left over for the charities that rely on their slice of the pie?
Nonprofits across Minnesota including Duluth are feeling the squeeze when it comes to millions of dollars being distributed for local charities. During the fiscal year of 2016, gamblers in Minnesota spent 1.5 billion dollars on different gambling games.
After payouts or winnings of nearly 1.27 billion and after taxes from the state and other expenses, only 70 million dollars was left over for all nonprofits across the state of Minnesota.
The state raked in 55.8 million. 37 million going into the general fund and 18 million going towards Vikings home field U.S. bank stadium. Nonprofits are saying when is enough, enough?
“At the end of the day the charities only realized one million dollars more for their missions. Whereas we payed 11 million dollars more in taxes. So basically at the end of the day we sat down with the state and they said you get one and we get 11 have a nice day,” Allen Lund, Executive Director, Allied Charities of MN said.
The Irving Community Center and American Legion both are licensed in the state to have onsite gambling, such as pull tabs, bingo, raffles and other games included.
Wednesday Fox 21 was at the American Legion Post 71 for a meeting hosted by allied charities of Minnesota. There they wanted to talk about how to propose a bill to regulate how much the state would be able to occur.
“If they were to adopt our suggestion to cap it at 25%, it would still be 5 times what the corporate tax rate is. We’re saying, isn’t that enough? Is that enough for what you need from us? Our needs in our community are growing at a tremendous clip and we need and want to be able to serve those needs,” Lund said.
Lund also stated that the numbers have grown over the fiscal year 2017 up to 1.7 billion dollars spent on the games.
Lund tells Fox 21 that this year, according to his projections. For the first time ever the state of Minnesota will collect more money off of gambling taxes than the charities will because of the tax regulations currently in place.