New Jersey will take control of the budget and will also include a financial aid package on the bill.
US.- Governor Chris Christie and Mayor Don Guardian’s game of chess came to a conclusion that ended up materialising both the takeover of the city and the financial help package.
Last week, Don Guardian, Mayor of the city, opposed the takeover and pushed for the creation of the financial aid package, changing his mind on Tuesday when he decided to accept the state’s takeover. “From the looks on your faces, you don’t like ‘Kumbaya’ moments,” he told reporters. “I’m sorry for that. It’s time for some tough decisions and some pain as we move forward.”
On its part, Governor Chris Christie vetoed the financial aid package last week, advocating for a bill to take over the powers of the town back into state control, after what he called “years of overspending.” The Governor has been critical of Atlantic City’s municipal government, as he believes it spends far more than it takes in and keeps turning to the state seeking for bailouts.
Now both Christie and Steve Sweeney, the Senate President, announced the takeover bill in the Legislature will be amended to incorporate the financial assistance package the governor himself vetoed last week, which includes a provision to let the city’s eight casinos make payments in lieu of taxes and prohibit them from appealing their taxes.
“Atlantic City’s government has too much debt and it’s too expensive to run for the tax base it has,” Christie expressed. “Atlantic City’s finances are now the greatest threat to the city’s well-being. The urgency of the city’s current financial predicament cannot be overstated.” In addition, Sweeney declared “We have to fix this government.”