Battle over Harrah's $500 million assessment enters round 2 - KMOV.com

Battle over Harrah's $500 million assessment enters round 2

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

St. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) -- Harrah’s casino is getting hit with a $500 million tax assessment.

That could mean big money for local schools and fire departments but a battle may be looming over how much the casino pays.

Sitting between Earth City Expressway and the Missouri River, Harrah’s casino is a money maker.

A money maker that the St. Louis County Assessor says needs to pay its fair share in taxes.

“Missouri law treats this casino as being a boat, and whether we’re calling it a boat and it’s personal property or whether we’re calling it a building and real property the reality is it’s worth $500 million,” said Assessor Jake Zimmerman.

Zimmerman has tried this before. Last year his $500 million assessment of Harrah’s was shot down under appeal. And cut to about $200 million, setting off a wave of taxpayer reaction.

This year however, Harrah’s sold the casino for over $600 million, proof Zimmerman says his numbers are right.

“I’m hopeful the truth will prevail here and in this case when you have a sale price of this magnitude there’s just no way that’ boat’s worth 200 million,” he said.

The casino’s new owners, Penn National Gaming had no comment, but it’s likely they’ll try to appeal putting millions in tax revenue at stake.

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