State Sen Allen: Lottery a ‘regressive tax against the poor,’ ‘Going to cost you as a taxpayer’
As next year’s legislative session approaches, speculation has ramped up about the possibility of a lottery in Alabama could become a reality.
Governor Kay Ivey and many lawmakers have offered tepid support for giving their constituents the opportunity to at least vote on a lottery referendum. Others have given their full-fledged support for the lottery, noting that Alabama is one of the last remaining holdouts in the country on a lottery.
State Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa), however, is not backing away from his opposition to the lottery. In an appearance on “The Dale Jackson Show” on Friday, Allen warned a lottery could hurt the poor and was skeptical of its advertised benefits.
“The lottery is a regressive tax against the poor,” Allen said. “And you can look at these other states and see – like Arkansas – the state of Arkansas recently they had to go into their general fund to write a check to their lottery fund, OK? Once you get into that game of asking the men and women of a state to play a game of chance – I just don’t think it is a way to fund government because what’s next? That’s the problem.”
“There’s other men and women who work hard every day, every week, every month and they go in, spend every dime they got, and they have children,” he continued. “Then you’re going to have a social issue. You got DHR. You got families without food. You got families that can’t make payroll as writing checks for all the utilities, taking care of the food on the table for the children. You got some other issues involved.”
The Tuscaloosa Republican went on to reiterate his claim that a lottery would cost taxpayers in the long-run.
“The bottom line is it’s going to be a costly arrangement for the state in the long run,” he added. “At the end of the day, it’s going to cost you as a taxpayer.”