John Popp, Say No To CasiNO member, has presented a letter to the State’s Gaming Study Committee from the Allen County Commissioners.
Mr. John F. Popp, President
Aunt Millie’s Bakeries
Re: Casino Referendum
This is to advise you and the “Say No To CasiNo” group that the Allen County Commissioners are in agreement that a casino locating in Fort Wayne would have a detrimental influence on our community, and in our opinion, the benefits in the form of tax revenue, which may be considerable, are more than offset by the longer term additional burden on local government services and the overall costs to the community including increased crime, bankruptcies, and other social costs.
Looking at the issue from a fiscal perspective, the County can ill-afford additional criminal justice/public safety costs, as the total amount of property taxes collected by the County currently represents only 72% of all County criminal justice/public safety expenditures; the balance coming from sources such as grants and fees. As the only representatives for residents living in unincorporated Allen County, we recognize that 91% of those held in the Allen County Jail were arrested in the City of Fort Wayne. Those in unincorporated Allen County pay a disproportionate amount of the costs for criminal justice/public safety compared with the amount of crime actually taking place in places like Hoagland, Grabill, and Poe. It could be argued that allowing a casino to locate in Fort Wayne is tantamount to raising taxes for unincorporated Allen County.
We think it is important for the Gaming Study Committee to understand the County’s position on this important issue.
Allen County Commissioners Nelson Peters, Linda Bloom and Bill Brown