The issue of Ruston increasing their gambling tax, apparently targeted at Point Defiance Cafe and Casino, has generated several comments.
For those who don't know, this business has been the focus of some intense criticism by some who think a casino does not reflect the residential/family neighborhood that Ruston has become. It also opened during the time that Kim Wheeler was mayor (with his support). In my opinion, the business got splashed with some of the anti-condo, anti-Wheeler paint by the very well-organized opposition group. On a side note, I think allegations of an attempt to drive the casino out of business was part of the lawsuit between it and the Chinese Christian Church and the Ruston Connection.
Everyone acknowledges that taxes openly aimed at a specific business is illegal. But given some of the responses I observed when this tax increase was announced, this may very well be covertly targeted at the casino. I haven't confirmed this rumor that Council Members Huson and Albertson threatened to shut down the casino, but I did confirm that a similar rumor about Council Member Stebner was false.
Here are the comments so far. Chime in with your thoughts, questions or observations:
It seems to me that the Casino brings in about $60,000 to $70,000 in tax revenue per year to the Town. What other source in Town pays more? I'm not one for gambling. But I have yet to hear of any negative issues regarding this establishment. Is it fair to raise taxes by 16%. I'm not good at math-is that 200% or 400% increase? Looks to me like someone wants them out. We stand to lose yet another law suit. When will we learn.
April 22, 2008 8:38 AM
This targeted tax increase is designed and will put the Point Defiance Casino and it's 300 employees out of business. The courts have been very harsh on taxing authorities using their POWER TO DESTROY a business. But this is not surprising following Huson/Albertson visit to the Casino threatening to shut it down if they did not remove there sign. And when the RC jumped all over it. I guess this was a foregone conclusion. BALLET lawsuit now GAMBOL lawsuit?
April 22, 2008 9:26 AM
I was told to take a look at local web sites that are currently reporting on community events. Information on local blogs are very important to our decision to invest in a particular area. We found this area to be an up and growing community. My company inquired to the Liquor Board about licensing a business in the Town of Ruston. We have been solicited to work with the state (by the state) to have a gambling license in the Town of Ruston.
We have decided against a new business in Ruston because we have heard we would have to deal with a council that does not support new business. Maybe someday soon this attitude will change. We will keep am eye to the future. I just hope someday soon this community will understand economics and the ability to enjoy the quality of life that a compact mixed use community can provide.
April 22, 2008 11:49 PM
The hope here is to clearly become a berg of Tacoma. We will be a residential neighborhood with limited business ventures. Unless of course you happen to own property on the water front. Makes little or no sense, but this is what we have created. We are not just members of NIMBY, we have the President of the club on our Town council. Tax the rich, feed the poor, until there is no rich no more. Alvin Lee
April 23, 2008 8:07 AM
Boosting the Gambling tax from 4% to 20% is absurd. I dislike, gambling, but I dislike over-taxing government a lot more. This business is bringing in a LOT of revenue for the town. We can't afford to lose them. I'm getting sick and tired of politicians manipulating business climates based on whether or not they like a certain establishment or not.
April 23, 2008 11:41 AM
If you look at any quality mixed use areas you will find they have a blending of retail, service, and residential. They all co-exist and profit from each others existence. I have yet to see a quality mixed use area that has a casino – can you name one? Would you buy a condo above a casino? Not sure many people would want one in their backyard - just ask the voters in Tacoma. In fact - maybe we should ask the Ruston voters if they want casinos in their neighborhood. Tacoma set the precedent and Ruston could do a “me too”. So, either make good money for the town, and $60-$70k isn't enough given what our police department has to deal with - like the shooting in the alley behind the casino? Oh, but our then chief of police was quick to dispel any connection to the casino. So if they weren't patrons then it’s safe to say we all have gun toting people in our alleys at all hours? Not so! The late night establishments draw unsavory crowds and tax our services. Its time they pay their fair share and help us upgrade our police and fire departments. Money has to come from somewhere – so you have to pay to play.
April 23, 2008 3:07 PM
Anonymous #6 must have been written by investigator Bill Walker. Just cuz you want it to be because of the casino doesn't make it so. I don't worry about the gun-toting criminals, it's the mean, crooked politicians and the minority of small-minded petty people in this town that scare me.
April 23, 2008 8:56 PM
A couple of things to think about regarding the casino. Even if we as a community (that means all of us, not just a few in power) decide we don't want this type of business (emphasis on "type", not this one building) then we need to go through the correct process and write that into the zoning code. It is entirely unfair to try to drive this business out of town when they are operating legally. Compared to the last couple of operations in that building, this is by far the cleanest business, much less of a drain on our public safety resources than the psychedelic rock and roll dive bar that was there before. With the current antagonism against our local businesses by Ruston’s leaders, I expect this building might sit vacant for years, just like Coles has been.
April 24, 2008 9:33 PM