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Gambling funds offer some relief

Published October 25. 2013 05:00PM

The state's 2006 plan to use gaming revenue to help offset school taxes, known as the Taxpayer Relief Act, levies a 34 percent tax on slot machine revenues.

This year, school districts are expected to receive about $611.5 million of that money to offset property taxes. The money goes to school districts, and used to reduce tax bills for property owners enrolled in the homestead/farmstead exclusion program. The average homeowner sees about $200 shaved from her bill.

According to the state Department of Education, school districts received $615.6 million in gaming revenue last year. In 2011-12, it was $612 million; in 2010-11, $616.5 million; in 2009-10: $613 million; and in 2008-09: $612.8 million.

Lehighton Area School District will get about $1.2 million in gaming revenue this year, cutting about $244 from each tax bill. Jim Thorpe will get $733,655 ($165 per bill) Panther Valley will get $736,705 ($217 per bill). Palmerton is due for $743,515 ($193 per bill). Weatherly will get $364,085 ($256 per bill). Tamaqua will get 697,452 ($140 per bill).

Pocono Mountain will get $6.2 million; Stroudsburg $2.6 million, and Pleasant Valley $4 million. The tax bill reductions were not available for those school districts.

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