Atlantic City government and public schools spend so much?that not even casinos can afford?property taxes there.
For 37 years, local government spending alone went from?$37 million per year?to $262 million per year–an average increase of?16% each and every year–even though Atlantic City LOST population.
That was because Atlantic City had “taxation without representation” and “representation without taxation”.?? Casinos paid 80% of local taxes, but were barred by state law from?doing or saying anything political–even making public comments about blatant waste, fraud, and abuse.????
Meanwhile,? Casino “Redevelopment” (CRDA) taxes built?low income housing for thousands of voters who paid no taxes.
When casinos opened?in other states and the economy crashed in 2009, casino property values (and tax assessments)? fell.??? But Atlantic City government and public schools did??business as usual?.??? Instead of forcing?cuts, Republican Governor Christie? had?Atlantic City borrow more than $200 million during next six years to delay day of reckoning while he ran for President.?? Everyone knew that money could never be paid back without crushing?local business and homeowners.??Now, Atlantic City government and public schools can?t even make payroll this week.
Instead of letting local officials lay off employees, cut salaries, and cut unsustainable debt,?Republican Governor Christie and Democrat Senate President Sweeney are proposing a new P.I.L.O.T.? (Peanuts In Lieu of Taxes) law that would make things even worse.
It?would freeze casino tax payments for 8 years, and force every?other home and business owner in the county to make up the difference.
Atlantic County Democratic Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo.? Mazzeo publicly admitted that the proposed law was written by?lawyer/lobbyists of?Casino Association of NJ.
They are?Phil Norcross, brother of Camden County Democrat boss George Norcross and?Jeff Michaels,?close friend of Republican Governor Christie and brother of?Port Authority cop “Chip” Michaels of?the George Washington Bridge lane closings.?? Phil Norcross and Jeff Michaels own?Optimus Partners and earn big fees helping their clients,?casinos, hospitals,?gas, electric, and water companies get?sweetheart deals like this?from?state government.
Our lawsuit will seek the following relief:
1.? Declare that P.I.L.O.T (Peanuts In Lieu of Taxes) for casinos violates Article 8 of State Constitution.?? NJ Constitution clearly states that all real estate must be assessed equally, except for breaks given to veterans, farmers, senior citizens, and ?redevelopment? in ?blighted? areas.?? Do casinos fit any of those exceptions?
2.? Order Mayor Guardian and Board of Education to give R.I.F. (Reduction In Force) layoff notices to all non-essential city employees that Atlantic City government has no money to pay.??? NJ State Law 2C:30-4 makes it Crime of 4th degree for local officials?to ?purposely and knowingly incur obligations in excess of the appropriation and limit of expenditure provided by law?.?? In Atlantic City, only mayor and his department heads have?authority to hire, fire, and lay off employees.?? Council was not even allowed to adopt temporary budget this year, since state monitors took over.
3.?? Enjoin and restrain Mayor Guardian from paying $2 million due on Wall Street bonds on May 1.?? Bankruptcy and insolvency laws say that when there is not enough money to pay everyone, employee salaries must be paid first.
Can you help??? If you?pay property taxes in Atlantic City or County, will you be a party to this lawsuit?
Can you?make a contribution to?help pay for filing fees, copying, postage, research costs, etc?
Business/Board Meeting this Saturday (every 2d Saturday of month), April 9 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.
Shopping on Amazon??? Why not donate?a portion of your purchase price at no cost to you??? Simply sign up through?smile.amazon.com ?and designate Liberty and Prosperity 1776, Inc. as your charity!
Setback with Liberty and Prosperity Club at Stockton College last night.?? The Club?First Wednesday this month as planned?because fraternity members busy with ?Greek Week? and classes cancelled for ?Preceptorial? Advisement Day?.?? Next meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 21 at 4:30 P.M.??? If you know any Stockton student interested, please let us know at? email@example.com .?? Thanks.
Seth Grossman, Executive Director