New Jersey governor signs PILOT bill for Atlantic City casinos
New Jersey governor Phil Murphy has signed the bill granting tax relief to Atlantic City’s casinos.
US.- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed the bill that will give tax relief to Atlantic City’s casinos and possibly prevent the closure of some. The state Legislature passed the PILOT bill on Monday.
Under the bill, calculations for tax payments to the county and Atlantic City and its schools would no longer include online gambling and sports betting revenues, a major source of income for casinos. That could mean a local revenue loss of $55m in 2022, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services.
The office estimated local revenue losses in calendar years 2023 through 2026 of between $30m and $65m per year. However, the casino industry said the new payment plan is necessary to save jobs and, potentially, casinos from closing.
Earlier this month, senate president Steve Sweeney warned that four of the city’s nine casinos would be likely to close without the PILOT bill.
“Failure to pass the PILOT legislation will have a further detrimental impact on the land-based casinos, which are still recovering from this unprecedented pandemic,” the Casino Association of New Jersey, the casinos’ trade group had said. The group said the bill would bring stability and help protect 20,000 jobs, among other benefits.
However, Atlantic County executive Dennis Levinson had warned Murphy in a letter earlier this month the county would consider suing the state if he did not veto the bill. According to Levinson, the PILOT legislation would “clearly benefit the casinos at the expense of our taxpayers. We’re not asking for more, like the casinos and Atlantic City; we’re only asking for what was already promised us in a court settlement.”
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