One week after Christie Republicans and Sweeney/Norcross/Prieto Democrats gave all 8 Atlantic City casinos a 10 year tax break, Boyd Gaming sold its half-interest in the Borgata Casino to MGM Resorts, owner of the other half for s record $900 million.
This arms-length, market sale of half the casino, gives the entire Borgata Casino a total fair market value of $1.8 billion.?? If taxed at the same general rate 3.334% for all taxable real estate in Atlantic City, the Borgata would pay roughly $60 million each year in real estate taxes.
However, under the new state law approved in Trenton last month, the Borgata?and all 8 Atlantic City casino hotels will pay a fraction of that amount? as ?Peanuts In Lieu of Taxes? (P.I.L.O.T.) for the next ten years.??? Until this deal was made, the 8 casino hotels paid roughly half of Atlantic City?s real estate taxes.
Article VIII of NJ State Constitution provides that except for certain narrow exceptions for churches, charities, veterans, farmers, senior citizens, ?blighted areas?, ?etc., all real estate is to be assessed and taxed at the same rate.
Approximately 4,500 housing units, the 109 Tanger Outlet shops and restaurants known as ?The Walk?, and Bass Pro Shops in Atlantic City already so pay ?Peanuts In Lieu of Taxes? because of previous deals.
As a result, Atlantic City?s remaining hotel, restaurant, shop, and homeowners pay far more than their share of the costs of Atlantic City local government and public schools.???? By changing the law so that casino hotels will no longer pay their share of taxes either, all other property owners in Atlantic City must pay even more.??? The new law also cuts the amount of county tax paid by casinos.?? This will cause big tax hikes for all other property owners in Atlantic County.
This is why www.libertyandprosperity.org filed suit in New Jersey Superior Court to enforce the NJ State Constitution.?? This is why we are suing for casino hotels to again be assessed on the same basis as all other properties in Atlantic City as they were for past 38 years.
This provision requiring all real estate to be assessed and taxed equally became part of the New Jersey State Constitution in 1844.?? This was because state governments throughout the country had become so corrupt in giving special tax deals to insiders, that the entire American economy collapsed during what was the Panic of 1837.?? New Jersey led America out of that collapse by amending its State Constitution to require that all real estate be assessed and taxed equally.?? The NJ State Constitution of 1844 also did not allow state government to borrow money without voter approval.
Please contact us to learn how you can help us with that lawsuit.?? email@example.com.??? Telephone (609) 927-7333
Also, several members of City Council in Atlantic City are preparing to challenge Mayor Guardian for going along with this dirty deal.??? They are proposing that Atlantic City give other property owners the same breaks as the casino hotels by applying for bankruptcy protection to cut outrageous salaries for certain public employees and cut bond payments.??? We encourage their efforts, and hope they act quickly.
Respectfully submitted, Seth Grossman, Executive Director