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Law creating N.C. Lottery to be reviewed by state's Supreme Court

North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: Law creating N.C. Lottery to be reviewed by state's Supreme Court
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North Carolina's highest court will decide whether the Legislature approved properly a bill that created the state's education lottery.

State Supreme Court justices scheduled oral arguments Monday in a lawsuit originally filed by taxpayers who sued state and elected officials.

At issue is whether 35 percent of the price of each lottery ticket constitutes a tax. If so, the state legislature violated the North Carolina Constitution when it approved the lottery in 2005 because it did not follow parliamentary proceedings set out in the Constitution to prevent taxes from being levied in haste.

If the legislature violated the state Constitution, the lottery may be forced to shut down.

Since the lottery was launched in March 2006, it has raised more than $725 million to pay for pre-school, class size-reduction, school construction and college scholarships, the lottery said in a news release in June.

Former state Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr and lawyer Jack Holtzman of N.C. Justice Center argued that each lottery ticket price includes a tax. Every lottery player has to pay it when he buys a ticket and the money goes to education, which is government function.

Special Deputy Attorney General Norma Harrell said that the prior cases and law on issues such as toll roads and other government fees show that the lottery is not a tax.

A three-judge panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 vote in March that the lottery is not a tax. Because the vote was split, the case moved to the Supreme Court for a final ruling.

Six of the seven Supreme Court justices heard the case. Justice Mark Martin recused himself. Justices don't have to give a reason for why they recuse themselves.

The plaintiffs have argued that the procedures used by House and Senate leaders to approve the legislation in 2005 violated the state constitution.

State attorneys counter the lottery bill was passed properly. The state Court of Appeals ruled six months ago in favor of the state in a split decision.

The justices won't rule from the bench. It may be months before there is a decision.

If the taxpayers win the case, the Legislature may have to revote the lottery into law. 

The North Carolina Supreme Court will decide if lawmakers acted properly when they created the state's lottery.
The North Carolina Supreme Court will decide if lawmakers acted properly when they created the state's lottery.

Lottery Post Staff

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3 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by JordanT1021.
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JAP69's avatar - alas
South Carolina
United States
Member #6
November 4, 2001
8795 Posts
Offline
Posted: September 9, 2008, 5:59 pm - IP Logged

"Since the lottery was launched in March 2006, it has raised more than $725 million to pay for pre-school, class size-reduction, school construction and college scholarships, the lottery said in a news release in June."

 

Do any of you living in N.C. see any of the above  happening in your school systems?

Type

    Tenaj's avatar - michellea
    Charlotte NC
    United States
    Member #17406
    June 18, 2005
    4054 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: September 9, 2008, 6:26 pm - IP Logged

    "Since the lottery was launched in March 2006, it has raised more than $725 million to pay for pre-school, class size-reduction, school construction and college scholarships, the lottery said in a news release in June."

     

    Do any of you living in N.C. see any of the above  happening in your school systems?

    I wish I can say yay or nay.  I used to know what was going on with the CMS system from working directly with them everyday but it's one thing I know is that new schools are being built each year but that was happening anyway.  It would be interesting to know.  I doubt it.

    takeemtothebank

      JordanT1021's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
      North Carolina
      United States
      Member #53121
      June 24, 2007
      6519 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: September 10, 2008, 7:35 am - IP Logged

      In my opinion the law makers did not act properly... It has raised great money for schools... I do enjoy the lottery in nc... it sure does beat having to drive 1.5 hours to play powerball in south carolina... driving to virgina is easy for me... i live about 45 minutes to state line

      my guess is that nc lottery will be shut down when the hearing happens... i will miss it from the time it takes to reopen