Mount Prospect delays penny-per-push gambling tax to 2024
Mount Prospect's penny-per-push tax on video gambling terminals was supposed to go into effect May 1.
But on Tuesday, the village board decided to put the tax -- expected to collect nearly $100,000 annually -- on hold until at least May 1, 2024. In doing so, Mount Prospect joins several other suburbs, including Schaumburg and Wheeling, in delaying implementation of the tax as it faces legal challenges in other parts of the state.
Mount Prospect board members chose to delay the tax rather than repeal it altogether.
Village Finance Director Amit Thakkar said there would be problems in imposing the tax May 1 as planned, including the lack of software in the gambling machines to deduct a penny for every push.
"There is no mechanism as of today for them to know (how many times) that person is pushing the button," he said.
That would leave the restaurants, bars and other establishments that have video gambling machines unsure of the proper amount to turn over to the village.
"We also need to understand some of the hardships that our restaurants and businesses have gone through because of the pandemic," Trustee Peggy Pissarreck said.
Mount Prospect approved video gambling in 2018 and now has 16 locations with 89 authorized terminals. In 2019, the village collected more than $50,000 in video gambling revenues. That figure rose to $63,000 in 2020 and $168,000 in 2021.
Thakkar called the $97,000 the village could collect from the push tax "not a significant number" relative to the town's
budget of nearly $150 million.
That received some pushback from Trustee John Matuszak, who suggested, "What if we take the $97,000 out of your salary?"
"I think we owe it to the taxpayers of Mount Prospect to collect every dollar out of the gaming scheme of Illinois," Matuszak added.
Delaying implementation of the tax preserves the village's right to impose it later on, if it survives legal challenges.
Only Trustee Augie Filippone argued for a repeal, citing its potential negative impact on players and businesses. But he ultimately wound up voting with the majority Tuesday.