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A tax on those who can afford it least

Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - Updated: 8:10 AM

Talk about a sucker's bet. When New Yorkers go to the polls this November, they will be asked whether the state constitution should be amended to allow Las Vegas-style casinos. Unfortunately, the Cuomo administration has stacked the ballot in favor of the house.

The evidence comes from a new Siena Research Institute poll, which asked voters flat out if they favor such an amendment, the result was 46 percent for, 46 percent against.

But fiddle around with the language, and you get a different result. So when the voters were presented with the actual language on November's ballot -- which describes the casino initiative as "promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools and permitting local governments to lower property taxes" -- an even split magically became a 55 percent to 42 percent vote for approval.

Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group puts it this way: This ballot referendum has "more spin than a roulette wheel."

Our view is that New York has enough casinos, and more will just increase crime, bankruptcies and gambling addiction. In fact, the best way to understand casinos is as a tax on those who can afford them least.

As for job growth and lower property taxes, if the governor is serious about these things, he'd do better to open the state to fracking. Instead, we have the usual suspects -- public-sector unions and pro-Cuomo business interests -- joining forces to lobby for what they think will be a magical, cost-free pot of gold.

New Yorkers deserve an honest ballot question on this. Instead, we've been given a stacked deck.

-- The New York Post

     

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