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    Saturday, December 7, 2019-5:51:46A.M.






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House Ways & Means OKs bill to restrict tax write-offs

THE House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday recommended the passage of House Bill 21-62, which would restrict tax write-offs.

Ralph Yumul

Introduced by Rep. Ralph N. Yumul the measure proposes to disallow deduction from gross revenues for the unpaid balance of any obligation or credit extended for gambling or gaming.

The House is expected to act on the measure in its next session, said Yumul who, as vice chairman of Ways & Means, presided over the committee meeting.

The committee reviewed the comments submitted by the Attorney General’s Office which said the bill presents no constitutional issue and the Office of Public Auditor which suggested a different way of addressing the tax write-off.

OPA legal counsel Ashley Kost believes that clarifying and codifying the definition of “casino gross gaming revenue,” which is already defined in the Commonwealth Casino Commission’s regulations, “is the best way to address the situation.”

The Department of Finance, for its part, said it does not oppose the measure.

In his letter to the committee, Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig said his department is “comfortable relying on…regulations to disallow future deductions if legislation is not passed, but we are not opposed to eliminating the possibility of the deductions entirely, and believe that [the bill’s] findings support the decision to do so.”

Yumul said the committee decided to approve H.B. 21-62 as originally drafted but added that they will come up with a separate bill based on OPA’s suggestion.

He said if House Bill 21-62 becomes law, it will affect tax payments in the next fiscal year.