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Audio recording clip from the third interview with Senator Joe Neal by Claytee D. White, March 6, 2006

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Part of an interview with Senator Joe Neal by Claytee White on March 6, 2006. Neal discusses the cost of tourism posed by the gaming industry in Nevada and compares the low taxes on gaming profits to higher gaming taxes elsewhere.

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Joe Neal oral history interviews, 2006 January 24, 2006 February 07, 2006 March 06, 2006 March 24, 2006 June 01. OH-01363. [Audio recording] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University L


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You see, tourism is like a sports game where the winning depends upon the ability of someone else. It is better to have your own producers within your own borders to produce that livelihood that you hold dear rather than, say, depending upon someone else. Tourism, as I indicated to you earlier, is not a win-win situation for the population of this particular state. It's a win-win for the gamers if they are not taxed sufficiently. It only becomes a win-win situation for the residents when you get the money to tax them to pay for the tourists when they come here. Look, in this particular county, you have an average of about 35 million people that come here each year, okay. That's added to your population, and that's on a base population of about 1,600,000 people. Now, just think about the service needs that go to those tourists that are provided by that base of 1,600,000. Something is wrong with that particular picture, you see. Unless you correct that, you're going to continue to have the problems that you have with your infrastructure, your hospitals, policemen, and all of that being paid. Now, they just had a big discussion not too long ago about the increase of police salaries. But nobody on the county commission, even though they seem to be in opposition, asked the question: Who's going to be policing whom? Is it that base population, or is it the tourists? If it's the tourists, then gaming, let's get some more money from you to do this. But they're not asking for that. Do you think they are thinking about it? Yes, they know about it. Just about every politician out there that has any sense would know about that. They have seen the same studies that I have seen that gaming is not paying its fair share for growth. It is the engine that brings in the growth, but it's not paying for the growth. You see, if you tax those suckers sufficiently, then you shouldn't have any needs that are not met. What is sufficient? Sufficient, in terms of a gross gaming tax, should be no less than 12 percent of the gross. No less than. And that's more than that 6.75 percent that they now pay. They're only paying about half. They're only paying about half. Take England for instance. England has dealt with gaming for over 200 years. But the gaming in England is limited to a point. See, in England you pay about 50 percent of the gross. And you take the state of Illinois. In the state of Illinois, I think last week as I saw it, gaming pays something like about 33 percent on the first 250 million. Then after that, it goes up to 75 percent. Since some of the same companies are here — Operates there, yes. And so that tells us that these guys can actually pay more. The system is set up in such a way that if you don't make the money, you don't pay it. It's not like the poor guy out there who has property taxes. It comes each year whether or not you've got the money or not. You have to pay those property taxes. In their particular case, if they don't make the money on the gross, they don't have to pay it. But then again, listen to this, what they don't tell you about, they write it off against their federal income taxes, you see. That's why I get hot with the labor unions when they don't see that. They write it off, write their taxes off, against their federal income taxes. Then you ask: Why do these legislators not see this? Yes, they see it. They just don't want to antagonize. They have become too beholden to the title. You see, I got elected one term at a time, and that's the only thing that was given to me to be served, one term at a time. That's the way I saw it. Since I have started from '72, I was elected one term at a time.