MGM Maryland Revenue to Aid Schools

The Prince George’s County Council in Maryland has voted to reserve half of all gaming revenue tax generated by the new MGM National Harbor to public schools.

County council members of Prince George’s County, Maryland, have voted unanimously to dedicate half of all taxes collected on gaming revenues generated by the new MGM National Harbor casino to public schools, libraries and community colleges.

The lawmakers returned the unanimous vote in response to a public outcry to County Executive Rushern Baker III’s recent proposal to raise property taxes by 10 percent or more to generate new funding for schools. The council raised property tax by one third of what Baker suggested, and dedicated the casino revenue tax to make up the difference.

“The money should not supplant money that is already funding the schools, but supplement, council Chairman Mel Franklin, according to the Washington Post.

The $1 billion MGM at National Harbor resort on the Potomac River across from Washington, D.C., which will open next year, is expected to generate $42 million annually for Prince George’s County. Under the council’s measure, half would go to the general fund with the remainder for education. The bill caps the supplemental funding at $25 million.

The Prince George’s revenue is separate from the Education Trust Fund, which funnels a portion of the state’s cut of slot revenues to school systems across Maryland. The redirection also leaves plans intact to improve highways and infrastructure in the county.