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Valley Forge Casino in agreement on local tax

Valley Forge Casino has agreed to continue paying 2 percent of slots and table-games revenue to Upper Merion Township if the General Assembly fails to fix the so-called local-share assessment by a Jan. 27 deadline, the township said Tuesday.

Valley Forge paid $1.87 million to Upper Merion in 2015.

Upper Merion budgeted $1.95 million in payments from the casino in 2017. At a Dec. 15 meeting where the Board of Commissioners approved the deal, Township Manager David Kraynick called it "a very amicable agreement." He said that he expects state lawmakers to  pass new legislation before the Jan. 27 deadline, but that the agreement offers a guarantee of payment. The three commissioners present at the meeting approved the agreement unanimously.

Unlike most casinos outside Philadelphia, Valley Forge was not subject to a $10 million minimum payment. That minimum, which meant that different casinos had different tax rates depending on their size, was at issue in the September ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that the local-share assessment was unconstitutional.

The court gave lawmakers four months to come up with a fix to make the local tax constitutional. Without a fix, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue will stop collecting the money Jan. 27.

Harrah's Philadelphia in Chester and Parx Casino in Bensalem have also agreed to make the local-share payments if the General Assembly fails to come up with a solution.

Philadelphia's SugarHouse Casino was not subject to the $10 million minimum. A spokesman said SugarHouse will continue paying 4 percent of slots revenue to the city.