Proposed Richmond casino tax funds to be used for childcare relief

September 6, 2023
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City officials have projected that annual casino tax revenue could reach $30m.

Officials in Richmond, Virginia recently revealed that projected annual tax revenue from a proposed casino and entertainment complex “will go toward affordable and accessible childcare as early as fall 2024,” according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch local news report.

Should the project gain approval in November, the city has projected that $30m in annual local tax gaming revenue is up for grabs. Out of the total, officials have allocated $26m for citywide childcare needs.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney provided details for the financial plan during a recent meeting with city and school officials. Stoney acknowledged the rising cost of childcare services and the financial burden this can create for families.

The Kids Count Databook released a recent annual childcare statistics report, outlining the average cost for center-based childcare around the state. According to the report, Virginia families pay an average of $11,579 for daycare outside of the home. The average cost for in-home care is $8,843, the report said.

Mayor Stoney said that allocated funds from potential casino revenue will go to families in lower income brackets to relieve childcare costs, as well as to increasing the availability of childcare options around the city.  

A portion of the money will also go to building new education centers and childcare spaces where there are current community centers.

In other Virginia news, a stalled court case regarding a statewide ban on skill-games machines continues to spark discussion among politicians. Despite the restriction, machines continue to be installed throughout the Richmond area.

Part of the growing controversy stemmed from several Richmond machines posting signs falsely stating that funds generated will be used for the state’s Covid-19 relief fund. However, Virginia has not used gaming revenue for pandemic relief since July 2021.

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