Thursday, May 1, 2008

Teachers Unions and Casinos Make Poor Bedfellows

Here's a look at what Massachusett's future could look like if the MTA and the ATF get what their leadership seem to think is a good idea.....expanded gambling in Massachusetts. It certainly ensures that leadership will have plenty of "make work" to report to their membership.

MGM-Mirage CEO Speaks Out on Gaming Tax Hike Proposal

"The head of the biggest gaming company on the Strip says he's in a fight to the finish with the teachers union. MGM-Mirage chairman and CEO Terry Lanni came out swinging Tuesday against the teachers proposal to boost the gaming tax, in order to pump more money into education.
Lanni sat down Las Vegas One's Jeff Gillan. What has Terry Lanni and the rest of the gaming establishment seething is the teachers union proposal to boost the tax from 6.75, to 9.75-percent. That amounts to a 44-percent tax hike.
Lanni isn't pleading poverty. But he does say the hike would cost MGM-Mirage around $90 million a year. Lanni calls it a "tax grab" and says that's money that could go to hire more workers.
"We don't make billions of dollars as a company. In 2006, we had a $648 million after-tax profit. In '07, it was much higher because we had a significant profit from the 50-percent sale of CityCenter. If you go back to comparative figures, it was about $700 million, if you exclude the profit in '07 from that," he said.
"If you raise that tax $90 million, you're going to have a lot less income. It's a significant factor on the overall income of our company. And $90 million at $38,000 per person, the average salary equates to about 2,000 plus positions in value," said Lanni.
The teachers union says the extra money would boost teacher salaries and be used to improve student performance. Lanni says the initiative comes with little accountability, but the teachers union says that's not true. It says the measure requires school districts to account for every dollar.
Asked if there's any room for compromise with the teachers union, Lanni said his focus right now is defeating the proposed initiative.
That initiative is facing two hurdles -- teachers have to gather more than 58,000 signatures by May 20 to get it on the ballot, and they have to prevail at the Nevada Supreme Court, which is hearing an appeal by gaming on July 1. "

What a mess!

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