The Prince George’s County Council unanimously approved a measure this week to earmark half of all county casino revenue generated from the MGM casino to public schools, libraries, and community colleges. As reported by the Washington Post,
Lawmakers introduced the measure in response to a proposal by County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) to raise property taxes by double-digits to generate new funding for schools. The council rejected the plan after a public outcry, raising taxes by a third of his original request.
The bill passed Tuesday would redirect 50 percent of the $42 million in revenue the casino is expected to generate once it opens in 2016 from the county’s general fund to its schools, library and community college budgets.
“This money should not supplant money that is already funding the schools, but supplement,” said council Chairman Mel Franklin (D-Upper Marlboro).
The legislation caps the amount of supplemental funding at $25 million.
The county executive’s office did not take an official position on the measure.