Maine Question 1 refers to an act to allow slot machines or a casino in York County, which is subject to state and local approval. This initiative sets forth a broad range of benefits for many populations in this immediate vicinity of the new entertainment venue and across the state of Maine. A vote of no on 1 in Maine is a vote against the creation of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue that will benefit the host county and the state at large.
New Construction and Permanent Jobs
How you vote on ME question 1 affects whether roughly four thousand new jobs will be created. According to an economic impact study, building a new entertainment venue in York County should generate approximately 2,767 construction jobs and 2,165 permanent jobs, resulting in as much $100 million in household earnings from construction and $64.4 million in new household earnings from operation.
At least $45 million in revenue from this casino may be directed toward state programs. Voting no on 1 in Maine means that this region might not be able to achieve its full economic potential. It also withholds up to three million dollars in property tax relief statewide. More than this, many state agencies stand to benefit from increased funding as do the students of Maine in K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities.
Tax Revenue to Support Vital Resources
Tax revenue generated by the York County casino is expected to amount in more than $11 million directed toward essential programs at K-12 schools and the creation of more than three million dollars of college scholarships for the Maine Community College System, University of Maine, and MMA Scholarship Fund. On the opposite end of the public interest, elderly and disabled Mainers stand to benefit from the provision of more than one million dollars in tax revenue to the state department of Health and Human Services.
Drug education initiatives across the state are slated to obtain more than one million dollars in funding under the initiative connected with ballot question 1. The veterans’ assistance fund should receive several hundred thousand dollars to fulfill another important social support role. If this ballot question is approved, the local municipality should receive up to one million dollars while the state general fund should receive an infusion of close to two million dollars from new tax revenues. There are many other agencies and local populations that stand to benefit from the passage of ME question 1.
Extended and Increased Tourism
The casino will also help York County increase revenues by helping to extend the tourism season. This indoor venue is coupled with a hotel with approximately 150 rooms. Guests will be more likely to visit and stay even when the weather turns wintery. The prolonged presence of tourists stands to benefit local businesses, stores, and restaurants. This means more money will be spent in York County and that the success of the casino will benefit both the county and the state through the terms of the initiative. A significant portion of the tax revenue from this venture will also be directed toward the promotion of harness and horse racing and the breeding of Maine Standardbreds, all of which will attract tourists year-round.
If you support attracting, generating, and keeping more revenue within the borders of the state, there is no reason to vote no on 1 in Maine. Previous ballot questions passed in 2003 and 2010 have brought economic benefits and boosted tourism in Bangor and Oxford County. Now it is time for York County to benefit directly and the rest of the state to enjoy the outcome of this region’s increased economic viability.