By Rep Jordan G. Ulery (R- Hills27)
The state is in a dismal fiscal fix because of over spending, that is a fact. The members of the same party that over spent, now want to bring in cheap gambling money with a promise of a few hundred jobs and a few millions of dollars.
Slot barns and airless artificial lighting in a race track alone are not the answer. A complete revamping of the way and on what money is spent by the state is needed, and has been rejected. That being said, however, there is a place for gaming in New Hampshire, if done correctly. Having gaming on I-95 and I- 93, but ignoring the other, the central, corridor into our state is just plain short sighted.
The destination resort in Hudson proposal brought forth, and summarily rejected by the powers that be, guarantees $50,000,000.00 in license fees annually plus an estimated $200,000,000.00 direct taxes to the state and additional indirect fees and taxes. While the slot barns in total talk about hundreds of jobs, the Hudson destination resort will IMMEDIATELY employ nearly 2,000 laborers in the constriction phase.
If the purpose of introducing gaming into New Hampshire is to get people to work and draw people here to spend, then why did the powers that be ignore and reject an honest to goodness destination resort? A resort that includes a world class golf course, high quality entertainment venues, up-scale restaurants, shops, convention and training facilities, a star rated hotel and nearly 5,000 permanent jobs of all types, not just a few specialized jobs for people from out-of state. The destination resort would include a tie to commuter rail (reducing the need for a subsidy), preserve miles of river front scenery and woodlands, reduce the tax burden in communities within 10 miles and, most importantly, provide jobs, thousands of jobs.
I am urging all my colleagues to include the Hudson plan for a destination resort in the budget mix. Yes, it is a rapid infusion of money; no it will not cure the spending disease that afflicts New Hampshire. A destination resort will provide jobs, reduce taxes and allow for the expansion of commuter rail into at least Nashua from the south.