Smaller Payroll Tax Reduction Proposal Could Include Online Poker Provision

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released details of his payroll tax reduction compromise on Monday.  While no provisions were mentioned regarding the legalization of Internet poker as a means to help boost the US economy, some believe this measure could offer an opportunity to attach such legislation. 

Sources close to Reid have advised other media outlets that the Nevada Senator could push through Internet poker legislation this session as a means of appeasing casino interests in the state.  Experts have shown that legalized Internet poker in the US could help fuel the economy in the form of added jobs, revenues and taxes while reducing the nation’s deficit. 

Reid’s proposed payroll tax reduction:

The current payroll holiday, set to lapse at the end of the year, shaves 2 percent off the 6.2 percent tax employees typically pay. Democrats will propose lowering the burden further, to 3.1 percent — half the normal rate. To reduce the cost of the bill, they will drop President Obama’s request that employers also get a 3.1 percent holiday for their payroll tax contributions.

That reduces the cost of the Dems’ legislation from $265 billion to about $180 billion.

The payfors haven’t been completely finalized, but will come from three sources. First, a surtax on income over a million dollars — likely between 1.5 and 2 percent — that automatically expires after 10 years. A GOP plan to means-test unemployment insurance and food stamps to prevent (yes) millionaires from receiving benefit under those programs. And cuts to non-health mandatory spending that had bipartisan support in the Super Committee. It will not include a separate GOP proposal to means test millionaires for Medicare.

Reid considered attaching an Internet poker draft bill to economic stimulus legislation last December but decided against it in the final hours.

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher