The economic impacts – the thousands of people a casino figures to employ directly and indirectly, as well as the employment it displaces (and the associated sales), will come not from the city or town in which the casino is located, but from the region.
Similarly, costs like roads, public safety, social services will be incurred by multiple municipalities. Patrick’s legislation offsets some of these costs with the community mitigation, public health, and transportation infrastructure funds.
So the only reason I can figure for any individual municipality wanting a casino sited in its borders is the commercial property tax revenue. Well what if the legislation were to exempt casinos from local property taxes?
Instead, the state could assess and collect a PILOT from the casino properties, and allot the revenues to cities and towns in the region of each casino. This would take away an incentive for municipalities to fight each other for the actual casino property, and would instead encourage, if not outright force, municipalities to form regional approaches to handling the impacts of these massive developments.
(Of course, this might also lead to a situation where no city or town wants a casino in its borders. Which would actually be fine by me.)
It’s late, and rather than puzzle through the full set of implications of such a policy, I thought I would throw it out there and see what the smart mob had to say about it.