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Last Two Dollars in State Supreme Court?

Last October I wrote about operators of the Napa Valley Casino refusing to pay a $2 card room admissions tax. The city of American Canyon, CA, approved the measure in 2010, yet it has delivered exactly $0 in tax dollars to date, as Napa Valley Casino is the only entity subject to the tax.

The parties ended up in court after the city filed a criminal complaint against the casino’s operators, and the operators countered with a civil suit of their own.

Earlier this month a Napa County Superior Court panel decided in favor of the city, according to the Times-Herald. The operators are seeking review of the decision by the state Supreme Court, but the court is not obligated to hear the case.

The Superior Court panel upheld the constitutionality of the tax, noting that local governments have broad powers to regulate gaming establishments located within their jurisdictions.

I don’t see a reversal here. The operators are asserting that the tax is on private citizens entering into a private business. Problem is, it’s not that straightforward.

  1. Matthew Rappaport
    August 28th, 2012 at 11:19 | #1

    I agree with your prognosis. As long as the tax isn’t worded as “a tax on Napa Valley Casino” and instead is “a tax on all admissions to casinos in American Canyon’s jurisdiction,” you’ll have a really tough time arguing it isn’t kosher.

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