District took in $32M in gambling revenue in ’16

How much riverboat gambling money was collected, and how was it disbursed?

The Calcasieu Parish Gaming Revenue District in 2016 collected $32,029,505 from the local riverboats and Delta Downs’ slots operation, said Parish Administrator Bryan Beam.

How the money was distributed:

  • Calcasieu Parish Police Jury — $10,629,906.
  • Lake Charles — $10,750,929.
  • Port of Lake Charles — $3,970,457.
  • Calcasieu Parish School Board — $2,710,431.
  • McNeese State University — $1,355,216.
  • Sowela Technical Community College — $451,738.
  • Sulphur — $861,423.
  • DeQuincy — $393,301.
  • Vinton — $392,674.
  • Iowa — $386,786.
  • Westlake — $126,644.

How the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury spent its gambling revenue in 2016, according to Beam:

  • Water — $2,952,067.
  • Drainage — $19,685.
  • Sewer — $2,045,000.
  • Fire protection — $206,905.
  • Recreation — $252,688.
  • Economic development — $62,100.
  • Capital projects and equipment — $9,362,808.
  • Other nonrecurring expenses — $234,954.
  • Total gambling funds spent — $15,136,206.

“It is the policy of the Police Jury not to expend funds until after the calendar year of collection,” reads a note included with the table of figures Beam provided.

“Therefore, the total expenditure shown for 2016 is an accumulation covered by previous years’ gaming collections.”


Property tax money used for spoils sites

The Port of Lake Charles has vast income-bearing properties and lots of money on hand, yet the public continues to fund them through property tax.

Will there come a time when the Port of Lake Charles will take off its “training wheels” and quit accepting money from the tax base?

How much public tax funding does the port receive, and where does the tax money come from besides property tax?

Bill Rase, executive director of the Port of Lake Charles, said the port and the Calcasieu Ship Channel “are primary economic drivers” for both Southwest Louisiana and the state.

“The state of Louisiana is responsible to provide funding to acquire areas of disposal for dredged material along the Calcasieu Ship Channel,” Rase wrote in an email.

“In an effort to continue to support the more than 40 industries located on the channel by ensuring the channel meets the advertised dimensions of 400 feet wide by 40 feet deep, the ad valorem taxes of approximately $3.0 million collected by the Port of Lake Charles are being dedicated to acquiring the lands necessary for dredged material.”

According to its most recent financial report, released last summer, the port had $372,742,579 in total assets, including $287,330,170 in capital assets, at the end of 2015. Its liabilities totaled $77,911,653.

The report says the port took in $2,394,934 — revenues minus expenses — in 2015. That figure combined with $8,457,112 in capital contributions to amount to net income of $10,852,046.


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