OXON HILL, Md. - Questions are being raised about the tax money generated by the MGM National Harbor Casino and whether it's being used for the right purpose.
Some residents have raised the issue in the past, but now Maryland State Senator Anthony Muse says he too has questions.
Senator Muse tells Fox 5 he's stepped down as the chairman of Local Development Council because of questions about taxes from table games at the MGM National Harbor Casino.
“As chairman it puts me kind of at odds on the fence between two bodies. One body that's saying we're not giving you the funding that we're supposed to or they're supplanting dollars,” said Muse.
The debate is over 5% of the money generated by table games specifically at MGM.
Some local residents feel it's supposed to go directly to the community to address issues like traffic and overcrowding caused by the casino.
“This money is supposed to enhance the area. It's supposed to be a reward for the impact it's having on us. That's not what's being done,” Muse explained.
Muse says he stepped down as chairman so that he could work harder to try to get answers from the county. Meanwhile, County Executive Rushern Baker says the Maryland law is very clear and the money is being used for the right reasons.
“I'm surprised he would say that because the law is very clear from the state how the money is placed. So we get at the local impact money, is from the games themselves, the slot machines. Not from table games, that's very clear,” Baker explained.
The portion of the state law that authorizes table games stipulates that 5% of the money generated "is distributed to local jurisdictions where a VLT facility is located."
Baker says "local jurisdiction" refers to the county in general and that's where the money is going. Meanwhile the local community still does get money from the slot machine revenues.
“They’re going to have about eight million dollars, just in that committee that he's on to distribute in the local impact. So that's a lot of money. We’re estimating that we're going to get 33 million this year from MGM that will go to the county itself. Which is why we're able to get more money to schools, hire more police officers, hire more firefighters and the budget reflects that,” said Baker.