Bill Banning Internet Sweepstakes Cafes Could Hurt Local Budgets

8:53 PM, Jun 22, 2010   |    comments
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Winston-Salem, NC -- Recently the Winston-Salem City Council passed a resolution to collect taxes from electronic sweepstakes businesses. But Monday the NC Senate passed a bill to ban the businesses statewide.

The bill still has to pass the House, but Winston-Salem City Manager Lee Garrity says the city is following this bill very closely.

Monday, the council also passed their budget that included bringing in $400,000 of tax revenue collected from the "internet cafes" and "business centers." If the bill banning theses businesses passes in the NC House, the city will be forced to find that money elsewhere.

Garrity says they are keeping a very close eye on the legislation. The NC League of Municipalities believes its unlikely the bill will pass the House. If it does pass, it likely won't take effect until January 2011.

Winston-Salem has already enacted their privilege tax and sent out the first round of bills to the sweepstakes businesses. It's possible the city could still get at least one year's worth of billing before having to make adjustments to the budget. The bad news is, if the legislation is passed, depending on how it's written, the city may also have to reimburse the money collected.

WFMY News 2

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