Charities say e-pulltab tax deadline is a headache

A switch-over in the way the state collects e-gambling taxes to help fund the Vikings stadium may lead to losses for some charities.


More than 200 bars and restaurants offer e-pulltabs, and odds are good that some games are in the red, said Al Lund, executive director of Allied Charities of Minnesota.


CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Linda Brausen has no problem with the new, more timely way that Minnesota will collect taxes on e-pulltab games to help fund the Vikings stadium. Instead of paying taxes after every game is sold out — which can take months — charities must pay every month.

The trouble, said the gambling manager, is the switch could cost her charity $1,500. The state told charities to shut down all e-games May 31 and start a fresh reporting cycle in June. But Brausen has games that require her to pay out hundreds of dollars more in prizes than she has made in ticket sales.

“What gives them the authority to tell me to lose money for my organization?” said Brausen, gambling manager for the Blaine Festival. “Normally you wait until the game is finished [to close it down] so you can recoup your losses. It’s maddening.

“We’re all trying hard to support this new [Vikings funding] venture for the state,” she added. “But this is money they’re taking directly from charities.”

The Minnesota Department of Revenue acknowledged that the plan could be a financial hit for some charities. But there was some flexibility: Charities could close their games any time before May 31 if they became profitable, said Matt Massman, assistant commissioner at the department.

“There should be no surprise that this was a risk that would occur,” he said.

It’s unclear how many charities would suffer gambling losses, but the odds are good that some games in the more than 200 bars and restaurants offering e-pulltabs are in the red, said Al Lund, executive director of Allied Charities of Minnesota.

Lund said he had suggested several alternatives to the Revenue Department, such as giving charities a choice of dates for their closing deadline or imposing the deadline in March, when there were far fewer charities on board with the e-games.

“I asked, ‘Can you give special dispensation for charities under water?’ ” Lund said. “ ‘Can you give them more time?’ They said no, it was against policy.”

Under the new arrangements, charities will close out their games Friday and pay taxes on revenues from the tickets sold. Starting in June, they will pay taxes on monthly revenues at the end of every month. This will put cash in state coffers much more quickly.

Charities say they have no problem paying taxes each month. It’s the May 31 deadline that worries charities. Many said they didn’t fully understand the implications of the shutdown until recently.

Charities in the red

The charities hit hardest had games that paid out mega prizes early on. Brausen, for example, said one of her games cranked out a $1,000 prize and a $599 prize almost immediately. It was great publicity, she said, and winners were thrilled. But Brausen must pay those prizes from her charity’s budget, which normally would be replenished by other less-lucky players.

Jean Walz, executive director of the Lakes Area Youth Services Bureau in Forest Lake, has three games with a combined negative balance of about $1,400. She signed up for e-gambling in January to generate more funds for the children and families her nonprofit serves. “I’m not sure why it’s OK for them to tell us to close games,” she said. “According to statute, we’re supposed to make those decisions. As it is, they are determining that I’m losing money.”

Kim Reid, gambling manager for the Tamarack Snow Flyers snowmobile club, said she also is $1,400 in the red. “I understand a monthly closing for accounting purposes,” Reid said. “But closing everything on May 31? I’m holding my breath for the next 10 days.”


Jean Hopfensperger • 612-673-4511

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Los Angeles - R. Hernandez 12:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - F. Doubront
Detroit - M. Scherzer 12:05 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Philadelphia - J. Williams 3:05 PM
Oakland - D. Pomeranz
Toronto - M. Stroman 3:05 PM
NY Yankees - C. Capuano
Arizona - T. Cahill 3:10 PM
Colorado - E. Butler
Boston - R. De La Rosa 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Cosart
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Cleveland - T. House 6:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Seattle - C. Young 6:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Wacha
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 7 1st Qtr 12:00
Rice 0
Troy 0 1st Qtr 9:45
(13) Georgia 0
Georgia Tech 3 1st Qtr 6:42
Virginia Tech 3
Eastern Mich 0 1st Qtr 8:48
(11) Michigan State 7
Iowa 0 1st Qtr 8:22
Pittsburgh 0
Bowling Green 7 1st Qtr 11:33
(19) Wisconsin 7
Maryland 11:30 AM
Tulane 11:30 AM
Hawaii 1:00 PM
Marshall 1:00 PM
North Carolina 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 2:30 PM
Rutgers 2:30 PM
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Utah 2:30 PM
Florida 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 3:00 PM
Indiana 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 3:00 PM
Texas State 3:00 PM
Massachusetts 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Vancouver FC 4:00 PM
Houston 6:00 PM
New England 6:30 PM
San Jose 6:30 PM
Seattle 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
D.C. 7:30 PM
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon




question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question