Gaming Commission changes Tip Jars

April 15, 1998|By BRENDAN KIRBY

The Washington County Commissioners and the director of the agency that administers the county's gambling tax praised changes to the tip jar law that will result in hundreds of thousands of additional dollars for charities and fire and rescue companies.

On Saturday, the state legislature amended the gaming law to require private clubs that sell tip jars to turn over 15 percent of their profits to the Washington County Gaming Commissioner for distribution. The new law eliminates in-kind contributions.

As a result, fire and rescue companies in the county will receive an estimated $980,000 in fiscal year 1999, up from a projected $744,000 this year.

Charitable organizations that apply for funds from the gaming commission also will benefit. They will receive almost $1.5 million in fiscal year 1999, up from nearly $1.2 million this year.


"The most important part out of it is that we will be able to continue to help the fire and rescue association and the charitable organizations," said Kathy Sterling, the gaming commission's director.

Sterling said making the contributions a flat fee is also a plus.

"This eliminates all of the confusion about that," she said. "It was a lot of paperwork required of the organizations."

County officials praised the changes in the law.

"We're the envy of many counties around us," County Administrator Rodney Shoop said.

Next month, charities can apply to the Washington County Gaming Commission for funds. The commission will award money in September.

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