Letters to the Editor

Gambling tax: Federal Way isn't Las Vegas | Letters

In the May 17 article "Federal Way seeks lower gambling tax after PJ Pockets Casino closes," it states City Manager Brian Wilson is proposing a drop in the city's gambling tax. This move allegedly will help those establishments, such as PJ Pockets, stay afloat during these recessive times.

In 1998, Federal Way raised the tax from 11 percent to 20 percent in order to halt the proliferation of gambling activities and establishments.

Mr. Wilson is quoted as saying: "I'm aware that our gambling tax is very high and it was high by design." In 1998 the majority of the citizens, and the city council, determined that we do not want a proliferation of gambling establishments. We do not want to become "Fife North" or "Auburn West" where there is a plethora of high to medium to very low-end gambling establishments cluttering the city's downtown core and outlying suburbs.

It is now 2010 and nothing has changed since 1998. We still do not want a proliferation. While it is unfortunate that any established business is not fairing well in this economy, we should not be upturning our collective goals and principles to prop up one such establishment. PJ Pockets is in the business of catering to people with disposable income. When the economy dries up, so does its clientele. This is the nature of the beast, the risk that businesses such as PJ's takes.

I do not feel compelled to bail out a business, at the risk of degrading the atmosphere of the city by seeding a growth in gambling sector. When the economy turns around, and people wish to part with their earnings more freely, then failed businesses such as PJ's can re-emerge. But they need to do it at the current tax rates.

Do not usurp the will of the citizens. We are not a town such as Las Vegas. We can survive with one less gambling establishment.

Larry Paterson, Federal Way

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