Council gives $17.5 million in TIF financing for proposed WarHorse Casino

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — A brand-new $220 million casino planned in south-central Omaha was given a tax break by the Omaha City Council on Tuesday.

The proposed major renovation is planned at 63th and Q, turning Horsemen’s Park into the WarHorse casino.

Typically, Tax Increment Financing projects, known as TIF, get little to no opposition at the Omaha City Council.

That was not the case Tuesday, with opponents giving a variety of reasons that the proposed $220 million dollar casino should not get the $17.5 million in TIF financing.

“Where’s the property tax relief? Now that they got it passed, not they got their hand out saying we want 17.5 million to help us build,” said Pat Loonjer, with Gambling with the Good Life. Pat Loontjer has been fighting casino gambling in Nebraska for decades. Helping to stop efforts for years, before voters in Nebraska overwhelmingly approved of it in 2020.

Tuesday, she battled developers of the $220 million WarHorse casino.

They sought out more than $17 million in TIF funds to help spur the project, which includes improving parts of Q street, near Horsemen’s Park.Loontjer was joined by former Omaha Mayor Hal Daub, who questioned if the project qualifies for TIF funds.“For if a casino is somehow economically a 220-plus million dollar economic development, is infeasible unless they tax paid subsidies,” said Daub.Here’s a general idea of how TIF works for the WarHorse casino.It would lock the casino in for 15 years at the current value of the Horsemen’s Park land, which is around […]

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