Please forward this email to your mayor and other officials.
Just 30 minutes of your time can make a BIG difference
Please read this email carefully.?? Then please forward (or copy and paste message) ?to your mayor and all local, county, and state officials who represent you.
Please send a cc or bcc to us at email@example.com so we can measure our progress and follow up on your work.??? It? will also help us build a valuable database of local officials in Atlantic County.
If Judge Mendez rules that all 8 Atlantic City casino hotels get a 10 year tax break because politicians call them ?blighted areas?, ?everybody else in Atlantic City and Atlantic County will pay a lot more in taxes to make up the difference.
If you live out of Atlantic County, please send to your local, county, and state officials anyway.?? If the casinos and their lobbyists (Phil Norcross and Jeff Michaels) get away with this,? the most expensive properties that pay the most taxes all over the state will be declared ?blighted areas? and get the same tax breaks.?? Everyone else will then pay a lot more.?
Look up email addresses for your mayor and each council/commission/township committee ?member on your town?s official web site.
Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson has no email.?? Please telephone him at 609-345-6700 or ?snail-mail? him at 1333 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City, NJ 08401.
Atlantic County Freeholders: ?(Get their email addresses by clicking their names at http://www.aclink.org/Freeholders/homepage.asp)
State Senate and Assembly Emails are posted at:? http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/Roster.asp
Last week, www.libertyandprosperity.org? and three county taxpayers filed suit against Atlantic City and State officials.??? Judge Julio Mendez scheduled the first hearing for Tuesday, May 24, at the County Court House in Atlantic City.
That lawsuit demands this relief:
- Order Atlantic City to immediately introduce and adopt a balanced ?cash basis? budget.? (State law requires that this be done by February 10.?? Last year, the state allowed Atlantic City to spend without a budget in violation of state law until September 22).
- Declare that Atlantic City government is insolvent, and direct that priority debts to employees, payroll taxes, health benefits, and pension funds be paid before other creditors, including Wall Street bondholders.
- Declare that all real estate in Atlantic City be assessed and taxed equally as required by Article 8 of NJ Constitution, except for homes owned by veterans or senior/disabled citizens, farms, charities, or ?blighted areas? that need redevelopment.
- Declare that all 8 of Atlantic City?s casino hotels are NOT homes owned by veterans, and senior citizens, farms, charities, or ?blighted areas? that need redevelopment.
- Declare that any state law exempting all 8 of Atlantic City?s casino hotels from tax hikes for next 10 years and forcing all other real estate in Atlantic County to pay the difference is unconstitutional and void.
We believe that if Liberty and Prosperity and those three county taxpayers win their lawsuit, our taxes will go down.?? We believe that if we lose, our taxes will go up.
When the casino economy in Atlantic City collapsed in 2008, the state allowed Atlantic City government and public school spending at the same rate as during the casino boom.??? As a result, Atlantic City government is now more than $400 million in debt.??? Republican Governor Christie, State Senate President Sweeney, and Assembly Majority Leader Vincent Prieto all insist that this debt be paid in full.
However, they admit that Atlantic City?s 8 casinos cannot afford tax hikes during the next 10 years to pay their share of that debt.?? That is why they are proposing a 10 year tax break for the casinos.
Because Atlantic City casinos pay roughly 60% of Atlantic City taxes and 30% of Atlantic County taxes, this ten year break for casinos will bring massive tax hikes and lower real estate values for everyone else in the county.
Last week, ?Judge Mendez ruled against the City of Margate in a very similar case.?? In that case, Governor Christie wanted to seize land owned by Margate to build sand dunes.?? The State argued that sand dunes were needed to protect the town from ocean waves.???? Almost anyone who has looked at the Margate beach knows that dunes are obviously not needed because Margate?s wooden seawall ?protected the town from ocean waves since 1944, and most flooding came from the back bay where dunes do no good.
However, Margate went to court alone.?? No other beach communities joined in Margate?s lawsuit.?? That made it very easy for Judge Mendez to ?presume? that state officials were right, and the people of Margate were wrong.
We think Liberty and Prosperity and the three homeowners have a much better chance of winning their lawsuit if they are joined by? the governments representing Atlantic County and every city, town, and township in the county.
I urge you to forward this email to our county/municipal attorney and ask them to either join the Liberty and Prosperity lawsuit, or bring a separate lawsuit on behalf of the county and of our town.
Business/Board Meeting this Saturday (every 2d Saturday of month), ?May 14 at Shore Diner starting 9:30 A.M.?? Non-voting members and donors?are encouraged to attend and participate–and upgrade to full, voting member status.?? For details (and to suggest items to be placed on agenda for discussion and action),?please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.?? Thanks.
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