#ColoradoRiver District looks to sports-betting tax to help fund #COWaterPlan — The Montrose Press

Colorado Water Plan website screen shot November 1, 2013

From The Montrose Press (Katharhynn Heidelberg):

The river district, which represents 15 western Colorado counties, including Montrose, recently announced its board backs Proposition DD. The ballot proposition would both legalize sports betting in the state and direct most of the revenue from it to implementing the water plan, including a possible water-demand management program to address the multi-state Colorado River Compact.

Prop DD also places a 10-percent tax on net proceeds of casinos that offer sports betting…

As described by the river district, revenues from sports betting could then be used for Water Plan Implementation Grants that fund water projects in: agriculture; conservation and land use; water supply and infrastructure; engagement and innovation and environmental and recreation. The revenues could also be used to ensure compliance with interstate water compacts.

Prop DD is estimated to bring in between $10 and $15 million per year — falling well short of the estimated $100 billion annual funding gap for water plan implementation.

From Westword (Conor McCormick-Cavanagh):

Despite the focus on water in these DD spots, money for the campaign is barely trickling in from water-industry stakeholders. Instead, 97.5 percent of the $403,000 donated to the Yes on Proposition DD campaign in the first eleven days of September has come from the gaming industry, though betting is largely an afterthought in these commercials…

The Proposition DD ballot question reads: “Shall state taxes be increased by twenty-nine million dollars annually to fund state water projects and commitments and to pay for the regulation of sports betting through licensed casinos by authorizing a tax on sports betting of ten percent of net sports betting proceeds, and to impose the tax on persons licensed to conduct sports betting?”

Asked why the ads focus on the water plan, Hubbard says that the commercials are designed to help make up for what he considers confusing wording on the ballot proposal. “One of the challenges we’ve seen is that it’s unclear if you just read the ballot language that this is a tax that casinos pay and that the vast majority of the money raised goes to fund Colorado’s water plan. That’s what we’re trying to highlight for people,” Hubbard notes.

Although the ballot language may be a bit convoluted, it’s clear where the Yes on Proposition DD campaign money is coming from.

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