Racino Construction Stops 

Construction at the new Hollywood Slots Racino in downtown Bangor has come to a screeching halt.

The head of Cianbro Construction says Penn National gaming officials ordered him to call off his crews Tuesday.

The move is in protest of a proposal to raise taxes by 1% on the facility.

Some lawmakers say the plan could help balance the state budget.

Currently, 51 cents of every dollar spent at hollywood slots goes to the state.

Eric Schippers, a spokesperson for Penn National, says the proposed tax increase would raise that rate to 61 cents.

Another proposal would limit money generated from the slots to other programs.

Schippers say the proposals have Penn National wondering about the state’s commitment to the company and whether they should scale back the 131-million dollar complex, delay its opening by five years or scrap it all together.

Folks in the horse industry, like trainer Mike Hitchcock, say the racino is a winning addition to harness racing, generating money and interest, again, in a once struggling industry.

He fears more taxes could force out the gaming facility, which would do damage to horse owners, farmers and local businesses.

Members of the horse industry, construction workers and others in support of the new racino, plan to rally at the State House Wednesday.