Talks in Ameristar tax case end with no settlement

Published 10:52 am Tuesday, July 1, 2014

 Eleventh-hour talks between Ameristar Casino and Warren County over the casino’s property taxes for 2013 ended Monday without a settlement, meaning the matter is still headed to trial July 8.

The two sides talked in closed session Monday without any action on the topic.

“With litigation you can’t discuss matters, so that’s all we’ve done is discuss items that we need to about the litigation,” board president Bill Lauderdale said. “The attorneys talked to each other and hopefully we’ll have a good outcome.”

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Ameristar is appealing its 2013 property tax bill that amounted to $178.4 million at the end of the fiscal year. The casino believes the true value of the bill should be $136.2 million.

Ameristar reached a settlement with the county in 2010 after a similar lawsuit that year. The case is one of two tax appeals involving casinos before Circuit Judge M. James Chaney, the other being a case filed by Riverwalk Casino. That case is set for trial next March.

Lauderdale said he would like to see the two sides settle out of court but that the county is prepared to take the case to trial if an agreement could not be reached.

“It would be nice to settle out before,” he said. “That’s what they always try and do instead of going to trial, but if not, we’ll go to trial.”