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MailTribune.com
  • State can split up its lottery pot four ways

  • So it looks like the county may not allocate to the Jackson County libraries the $800,000 in lottery funds that they would have had prior to approval by voters of the new tax. Are there any restrictions by the state on how lottery funds can be used? Can they place it in the General Fund and use however they deem?
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  • So it looks like the county may not allocate to the Jackson County libraries the $800,000 in lottery funds that they would have had prior to approval by voters of the new tax. Are there any restrictions by the state on how lottery funds can be used? Can they place it in the General Fund and use however they deem?
    — Inquiring Mind, Jacksonville
    Why yes, Inquiring Mind, there are restrictions as to how Oregon Lottery funds can be allocated.
    According to Oregon law, at least 50 percent of the lottery's total annual sales must be returned to the public in the form of lottery prizes.
    The other 50 percent — as decided by voters in 1984, 1995 and 1998 — is split among public education, economic development and job creation, state parks and natural resource enhancement, and problem gambling treatment.
    For the 2013-15 biennium, the Oregon Legislature and governor allocated 57 percent of available lottery revenue to public education, 27 percent to economic development and job creation, 15 percent to state parks and natural resource enhancement, and 1 percent to problem gambling treatment.
    Every year since 2007, the Oregon Lottery has generated between $1 billion and $1.2 billion in revenue, which has left about $500 million annually to split up among the four categories.
    For a county-by-county breakdown of where lottery dollars are allocated, visit oregonlottery.org/Microsites/GoodThings/
    Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.
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