The folks at Black Bear Entertainment are getting a lot of attention lately for their petition drive to bring a casino to Oxford County.
But yesterday's press release contains two fascinating claims about the impact a casino will have in Maine.
In a paragraph talking about how much the casino will benefit education, we find the following: (see the full press release below)
1) a claim that the casino would send 70 percent of its tax revenues to education, which is an artful way of restating the BBE's Web site's claim that 32 percent of the net revenue will go to education. Go here, and then click "The Bear Facts," to see how BBE is now claiming that 32 percent is 70 percent of 46 percent - and if you're lost, just know that they're serious, and I'm not misstating their position because I checked it with BBE spokesman Peter Martin.
2) a Freudian-slip claim that the amount of money sent to boost education funding in Maine would be "about $32 annually." (Martin clarifies that the phrase actually means "$32 million annually.")
But according to the petition itself, the state's take would be just 46 percent of the "net slot machine income" plus 16 percent of the "net table game income." While those are apparently state-generated numbers and not BBE's, they say the total state revenue would be just under $28 million - even if 70 percent of that went to education, it would be $19.6 million. To get $32 million for education, the total tax revenue would have to be $45.7 million.