E.C. dodges tax dispute 'disaster' as casino nets smaller refund

2013-08-29T20:20:00Z 2013-08-29T23:04:23Z E.C. dodges tax dispute 'disaster' as casino nets smaller refundBy Bill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com
August 29, 2013 8:20 pm  • 

EAST CHICAGO | Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago is walking away from the table with $5.7 million in tax credits under a settlement with the city and the Lake County assessor's office.

Mayor Anthony Copeland, who announced the deal Thursday, declared himself pleased, since it is much less than the casino was demanding the city and county refund over allegations its Lake Michigan shoreline property was overassessed for taxing purposes.

"If the city had to pay its share of (the casino's demand for) $16 million plus interest, it would have been a financial disaster. As mayor of the city of East Chicago, I am proud that we have cleared another financial hurdle."

The casino was appealing property taxes dating back to 2008 on whether it was given credit for general obsolescence and loss of business resulting from the Cline Avenue Bridge closing.

"The settlement agreement is a compromise of the parties’ prior positions, and will be submitted for approval to the Indiana Board of Tax Review shortly," Copeland said. "The agreed assessment for future years is sufficient to pay the base value to the city of East Chicago as well as to assist the Redevelopment Board in making payments on financial obligations existing in its redevelopment district.

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