Ivey: ‘I don’t have any problem with just a pure, plain and simple lottery’ — Says online sales tax could be ‘a larger source of funding’
Tuesday on Birmingham Talk 99.5’s “Matt & Aunie Show,” Gov. Kay Ivey offered specifics on her position on a future lottery.
While Ivey’s opponent Democratic gubernatorial nominee Walt Maddox has made a lottery a centerpiece of his campaign, Ivey offered only tepid support and warned of possible additional forms of gambling being added to any future gambling referendum.
“The bottom line is a lottery will probably be up in the next legislative session,” she said. “I fully expect it to be introduced and by and large, most people — if it’s a pure and simple plain lottery, just a real simple sure-enough plain lottery, I think most folks would vote for that. But the catch comes when you get it in the legislature, and you start adding on.”
“‘Well, let’s make this legal and this legal,’” she continued. “Then you get other types of gambling in there – it’s sort of like making sausage. You know, if you ever get it cooked, it tastes good. While it’s getting cooked, people stack it up. So, I don’t have any problem with just a pure, plain and simple lottery, if we can get to that. But surely people will have a right to vote on it ever how it comes out.”
Ivey told co-host Matt Murphy and Andrea Lindenberg she sees the collection of an online sales tax, which went into effect in Alabama earlier this month after the Supreme Court ruled in June that states can levy an online sales tax, as a potential “larger source of funding.”
“Most folks say, ‘Oh, well it will it bring in so much money,’” she added. “I’m not so sure it’d be a windfall. Yes, more money would be beneficial. But I’m looking at a larger source of funding, such as online sales tax. I think that has the potential for being a huge growth area, especially if the state continues to enforce the law and more sales go online. I think we’ve got a real source of growth there for money.”
The incumbent Republican governor also warned against funding “essential” government services with an unstable source of funding like a lottery.
“There’s cost to running a lottery, and you’ve got to decide where the proceeds are going,” Ivey said. “There’s a principle in public policy that says never fund an essential service of government with an unstable source of funding. So, you’ve got to be careful what you do with the money.”