“That just confirmed everybody's expectations,” Feigenbaum said.
The drop in gaming dollars is due to more than just the new casinos in Ohio, Feigenbaum said. When the federal payroll-tax holiday lapsed late last year, the paychecks of wage earners dropped about 2 percent. “That left people with less disposable income, particularly those discretionary dollars used for entertainment.”
For Feigenbaum, the April budget forecast prompts the question: When will the state start to wean itself off the gaming tax dollars?
“We're not going to be able to rely on them to extent we did before,” he said. “Even if we expand gaming — in whatever form that takes — it's not going to be possible to regain that kind of revenue again.”
Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at email@example.com