Ruston Council Member Wayne Stebner proposed an ordinance that is ready for a vote on Monday to increase the gambling tax on Point Defiance Cafe and Casino from 2% to 20%.
Steve Fabre, the owner of the casino, was understandably concerned when he heard this rumor. He called Council Members Huson, Albertson, Hedrick and Stebner to ask what was going on. Only Hedrick and Stebner called him back. Stebner's message: Either close the casino now or it will close when Tacoma takes over.
Stebner made this proposal during council time at the last meeting (after public comment had closed). The ordinance is set to be voted into law without any public notice at the very next meeting. Anyone who happens to attend the meeting will be allowed 2 minutes to comment under the new council rules.
This is billed as a way to raise tax revenue. But Fabre says he cannot afford to absorb this increase. It will force him to shut down most of the gambling operation and potentially put 60 people out of work.
Interesting message from our elected leader, especially one who has close ties with the Ruston Connection. Ruston Connection just settled a lawsuit that alleged they were attempting to put the casino out of business. What are your thoughts?