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Oregon Job Growth Education And Communities Fund Act, Part II, Measure 75 (2010)

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An Oregon Job Growth Education And Communities Fund Act, Part II, Measure 75 (temporarily titled as Initiative 77) appeared on the November 2, 2010 ballot in Oregon as an initiated state statute where it was defeated.[1][2][3]

The proposed measure called for creating a gaming tax of 25% of gross revenues for education, state police, and local governments across the state. It was Part II of a proposed casino measure in Wood Village.[4]

The casino would have been built on 33 acres at 223rd Avenue and Halsey Street. It was estimated that less than 70% of the complex would be dedicated to gaming activities. Supporters said 70% of the complex would be non-gaming. Thirty-percent of the complex's tax revenue would go towards Multnomah County, while 2 percent would go towards a problem-gambling fund.[5]

On petition deadline day, July 2, supporters announced they submitted an estimated 136,938 signatures, exceeding the state's minimum requirement of 82,769 signatures.[6] On July 27, the secretary of state certified the measure after 82,865 signatures were verified.[7][8]

Since the project required the approval of both initiatives (Initiative 76 (Part I) and 77 (Part II)) in order to remove Initiative 77 from the ballot sponsors would have had to go to court. According to reports, sponsors gave no indication of pursuing that option.[9] Supporters of both measures instead pursued a lawsuit but on August 23, 2010 the challenge was dropped. Supporters said a constitutional amendment wasn't necessary to build and operate a facility in Wood Village. Others disagreed and argued that the constitution clearly banned non-tribal casinos.[10]

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
Measure 75 (Gaming Tax)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No959,34268.16%
Yes 448,162 31.84%
Election results from Oregon Blue Book website.

Text of measure

Title

The certified ballot title for Measure 75 was:[11]

Authorizes Multnomah County casino; casino to contribute monthly revenue percentage to state for specified purposes.

Result of "Yes" Vote: “Yes” vote authorizes a single privately-owned casino in Multnomah County; requires casino to give percentage of monthly revenue to State Lottery for specified purposes.

Result of "No" Vote: “No” vote maintains the current state of the law, which does not authorize any privately-owned casino or casinos anywhere in the State of Oregon.

Summary

The summary read as follows:[11]

Currently, Oregon Constitution prohibits establishing casinos within state. Under measure, State Lottery shall issue renewable 15-year lease permitting owner of former Multnomah Kennel Club in Multnomah County to operate gaming devices, table games, keno, other games of chance at that site. Measure would become operative only if constitution is amended to permit casino or casinos within state. Casino operator shall pay 25% of adjusted gross revenues each month to State Lottery. Lottery shall deposit money into a Job Growth, Education and Communities Fund (separate from general fund), annually shall apportion half of fund for classroom instruction expenditures, 30% to counties. Casino operator initially shall pay $1 million, subsequently shall pay $2 million annually, to Lottery to administer measure. Other provisions.

Financial impact

The financial impact, according to the Secretary of State's office:[11]

To implement the measure, state government would be required to spend approximately $1 million in the first year. If a casino is licensed, state government would be required to spend between $4 million and $6 million in the following twoyear period; and between $4 million and $8 million in each two year period after that. These costs will not be incurred unless a state constitutional amendment, separate from this measure, authorizes implementation of this measure.

The measure would not require any local government spending. The measure, alone, will have no direct effect on state or local revenues. If a casino is licensed, state and local revenues would be increased between $13 million and $68 million each year. However, the measure would result in a shift of funds from the state to local governments which would leave the state with a gain of no more than $1.8 million and a possible loss of $26.2 million.

The explanation of the financial impact statement read as follows:[11]

If authorized by the state constitution, this measure would allow one privately owned casino in Multnomah County.

The committee estimated that regulation for a casino, as required in the measure, would cost approximately $1 million in the first year, and between $4 million and $6 million in the next two-year period, and between $4 million and $8 million for each two-year period after that, depending on the size of the casino and the number of gaming devices and other games offered. The estimates were based on cost information from the Oregon State Police, which currently regulates gaming at tribal casinos in Oregon. The measure limits the amount of money that the casino operator would be required to pay for regulation to $4 million in a two year period, and specifies that no other public funds may be used to pay for regulation.

The measure requires the casino operator to transfer 25% of the casino’s net gaming revenues to the state for specific purposes. The committee estimated that the total amount that would be transferred would be between $83 million and $147 per year depending on the size of the casino, and on its gross revenues.

A casino would be expected to compete with the Oregon State Lottery for business. The committee estimated that state and local government payments from lottery revenues would decline between $72 million and $79 million each year.

The measure also directs the use for the transferred casino revenues. Depending on the size and gross revenues of the casino, the committee estimates that each year between $4 million and $7.5 million would go to state programs; between $37 million and $67 million would go to local governments; and between $40 million and $74 million would go to schools.

Oregon State Lottery revenues are used for a variety of purposes. These include funding schools, parks, economic development and fish habitat. To the extent that the casino authorized under the measure would have the effect of reducing lottery revenues, these programs would be affected.

Support

The proposed initiative was primarily sponsored by Matthew K. Rossman and Bruce Studer.[12][13] On May 7, supporters announced a financial partnership with Oregon Gaming & Entertainment Co., principals Studer & Rossman: an Oregon-based investment company; MGP Racing, principal Arthur McFadden: owner of Multnomah Greyhound Park; Navegante Group: A Las Vegas-based hospitality company specializing in casino development, consulting and management; Clairvest: A Canada-based investor in North American gaming-development companies; and, Innovation Capital: A Los Angeles-based gaming, leisure and hospitality investment banking firm.[14][15]

Donors

The following is a list of donors in support of Measure 75[16].

Contributor Amount
Clairvest Group $551,917.38
Good for Oregon-ORESTAR ID #14507 $2,941.85

Opposition

The Committee for a Casino-Free Wood Village was a group of citizens opposed to the Measure 75. According to reports, the committee emerged in late September 2010.[17]. The official name of the committee was "Vote No 75-It's a Bad Idea"[18]. The committee was officially formed on September 17, 2010 according to records with the Oregon Secretary of State.

Donors

The following is a list of donors in opposition of Measure 75[19].

Contributor Amount
Spirit Mountain Gaming $602,092
Chinook Winds Gaming $93,000
Oregon Tribal Gaming Alliance $44,102
Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde $20,000

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of Oregon ballot measures, 2010

Opposition

  • The Mail Tribune was opposed to Measure 75. In an editorial the board said, "Measure 75 clearly grants Studer and Rossman, and no one else, the privilege to operate a commercial, non-tribal casino in Oregon. If the measure passes, odds are good that opponents of the casino — and they are numerous — will immediately sue to stop it...Oregon has a successful state lottery and several bustling Indian casinos. Allowing even more gambling might or might not be a good thing for the state. But handing a monopoly to one casino is the wrong way to go about it."[20]
  • The Register-Guard opposed Measure 75: "Oregon already has large gambling enterprises — a billion-dollar state lottery and nine tribal casinos."[21]
  • The Daily Astorian opposed Measure 75. "Hell No! The whole deal fails to pass the sniff test on so many levels. While government should be supportive of business, changing the Oregon Constitution to benefit two individuals is neither fair nor appropriate," said the editorial board.[22]
  • The Wallowa County Chieftain opposed Measure 75. The editorial board said, "Casinos are lucrative, really lucrative. And while they provide some fleeting fun for some, the bank always wins in the long term. They also bring associated problems, including crime and prostitution."[23]

Polls

See also: Polls, 2010 ballot measures
  • A poll conducted August 18-21, 2010 by Grove Insight revealed that 35% of polled voters favored the proposed measure, while 51% were opposed and 14% were undecided. The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 4.0 percentage points. A total of 600 registered Oregon voters were polled.[24][25]
Legend

     Position is ahead and at or over 50%     Position is ahead or tied, but under 50%

Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided Number polled
August 18-21, 2010 Grove Insight 35% 51% 14% 600

Related measure lawsuit

See also: Oregon Job Growth Education And Communities Fund Act, Part I (2010)

A lawsuit was filed July 28, 2010 in Marion County Circuit Court by initiative supporters of Part I of the proposed Oregon Job Growth Education And Communities Fund Act. According to reports, supporters argued that the state’s petition signature-counting methods were invalid and may have rejected valid signatures causing the initiative to fail to qualify for the ballot. However, according to state officials signatures included people who identified themselves as "Satan" and "Moe Szyslak," the bartender on the TV show "The Simpsons." Despite official counts, supporters said they checked the submitted signatures themselves and found a validity rating above the number required to qualify.[26][27][28]

Challenge dropped

See also: 2010 ballot measure litigation

On August 23, 2010 initiative supporters dropped their lawsuit efforts.[29] In their August announcement, supporters said a constitutional amendment wasn't necessary to build and operate a facility in Wood Village. Greg Chaimov, a Davis Wright Tremaine attorney working with the group, said the state's ban on non-tribal casinos "applies to the legislative assembly, not to the people. Ballot Measure 75 will become law if the people vote in favor on Nov. 2." Others disagree and argue that the constitution clearly bans non-tribal casinos.[30] Additionally, opponents argued that the initiative process did not circumvent the law because it was an exercise of the legislative process and was thus subject to the same restrictions as the legislature.[31][32]

The state constitution stated, "The Legislative Assembly has no power to authorize, and shall prohibit, casinos from operation in the state of Oregon." Tribal casinos are not subject to the prohibition.[33]

Path to the ballot

See also: Oregon signature requirements and 2010 ballot measure petition signature costs

Initiative petitions for statutes required six percent of 1,379,475, or 82,769 signatures. The deadline for filing signatures for the November 2, 2010 ballot was July 2, 2010. According to reports, on July 2 supporters filed approximately 136,938 signatures. At least 60.5% validity rating was required to qualify the measure for the ballot.[34][35] The Secretary of State's office had 30 days to verify the names.[36][37] On July 27, the secretary of state certified the measure after 82,865 signatures were verified.[7][38][39]

See also

Related measures

News Articles

External links

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Additional reading

Editorials

References

  1. The Argus Observer,"Oregon approves five of seven ballot measures," November 5, 2010
  2. Associated Press,"Oregon voters reject first non-tribal casino," November 3, 2010
  3. Oregon Public Broadcasting,"Non-Tribal Casino Measure Goes Down To Defeat," November 3, 2010
  4. Daily Journal of Commerce (Oregon),"Casino developers get signatures to proceed," July 2, 2010
  5. The Outlook Online,"Casino backers unveil vision," July 9, 2010
  6. The Oregonian,"Wood Village casino supporters gather enough signatures to place two measures on November ballot," July 6, 2010
  7. 7.0 7.1 Associated Press,"Measure for 1st Ore. non-tribal casino falls short," July 27, 2010
  8. Willamette Week,"Bad News For Backers of Casino Proposal (UPDATED with comment from casino backer)," July 27, 2010
  9. Statesman Journal,"Casino backers might go to court," July 28, 2010
  10. Oregon Public Broadcasting,"Casino Backers Say No Constitutional Amendment Needed," August 23, 2010
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Oregon Secretary of State,"Measure 75," accessed October 25, 2010
  12. Oregon Secretary of State,"Oregon Job Growth Education And Communities Fund Act summary," accessed May 11, 2010
  13. The Oregonian,"Wood Village casino backers launch initiative signature drive," May 7, 2010
  14. Lake Oswego Review,'Casino developers announce backers," May 7, 2010
  15. DJC Oregon,"Casino secures funding, needs signatures," May 10, 2010
  16. ORESTAR "Committee Detail-Yes on 75 (2010)," accessed on October 25, 2010
  17. The Gresham Outlook,"Anti-casino group forms in Wood Village," September 29, 2010
  18. ORESTAR "Statement of Organization-Vote No on 75," accessed on October 25, 2010
  19. ORESTAR "Committee Detail-No on 75 (2010)," accessed on October 25, 2010
  20. Mail Tribune,"Measure 75: No," September 30, 2010
  21. Register-Guard, "Summary of recommendations," October 18, 2010
  22. The Daily Astorian,"Ballot Measure 75," October 19, 2010
  23. Wallowa County Chieftain,"EDITORIAL: The state ballot measures: our recommendations," October 14, 2010
  24. Grove Insight,"Findings from a Statewide Poll on Oregon Ballot Measures," September 2, 2010
  25. The Oregonian,"Poll shows uncertain fate for Oregon ballot measures," September 7, 2010
  26. Portland Business Journal,"Casino backers file lawsuit," July 29, 2010
  27. The Portland Tribune,"Casino fight might head to court," July 29, 2010
  28. Statesman Journal,"Casino backers might go to court," July 28, 2010
  29. Statesman Journal,"Casino backers drop lawsuit," August 24, 2010
  30. Portland Business Journal,"Casino supporters drop ballot lawsuit," August 23, 2010
  31. Portland Tribune,"Casino backers press ahead without Constitutional measure," August 23, 2010
  32. Blue Oregon,"M75: Wood Village Casino campaign moves forward," August 23, 2010
  33. The Register-Guard,"Casino campaign will go on," August 24, 2010
  34. Blue Oregon,"Signatures turned in for fall ballot measures," July 3, 2010
  35. The Statesman Journal,"Ballot proposals address marijuana, prisons, casino," July 3, 2010
  36. The Oregonian,"Six citizen initiatives may make Oregon's November ballot," July 2, 2010
  37. Portland Business Journal,"Wood Village casino supporters file signatures," July 2, 2010
  38. Portland Business Journal,"Wood Village casino effort hits major roadblock," July 27, 2010
  39. Statesman Journal,"Initiative to allow nontribal casinos fails to qualify for ballot," July 27, 2010