Aren?t they the same people who already taxed, borrowed and spent more than a billion dollars on failures like three bus stations, two convention halls, a train station,? baseball stadium, opera house, ?rodeo, and the Revel Casino?*
Aren?t they the same people who support Mayor Guardian and his ?business-as-usual? budget, no City Hall layoffs, a 29% tax hike this year, and more borrowing to guarantee future tax hikes?
Those of us who grew up in Atlantic City know that only liberty and low taxes can bring back prosperity.? We remember dozens of successful hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and other businesses ?that opened? in the 1903?s during the Great Depression.? ?Ordinary citizens with high school educations were much smarter ?investing their own money, than today?s ?experts?
Here are five ideas to bring liberty and low? taxes back to Atlantic City.? :
1.? Cut local government and public school spending in half.?? Anyone who visits City Hall or who looks at its payroll knows this can quickly and easily be done without cutting services.?? A yearly tax bill of $8,000 is way too much for a modest one bedroom condo.???Atlantic City public schools should not pay $27,000 each year for each student. A resort needs bright lights and air conditioning and can?t afford triple electric bills for solar panels and wind turbines that produce little or no energy when needed.???? We can?t afford parking tax, luxury, and double sales taxes on hotel rooms on top of this.
2.? Show compassion for the owner of a modest one-bedroom condo currently paying $8,000 a year in property taxes.?? Or owner of? small hotel or restaurant going under because of property taxes of more than $100,000 a year.?? But no compassion for?people who caused this misery by using politics to get high-pay, do-nothing City Hall jobs and contracts.
3.? Repeal the 1978 state law that bars casinos and their employees from taking any effective political action. New Jersey is the only state that almost completely disenfranchises its leading industry.?? This taxation without representation is why many casinos companies are getting out of NJ. It is why candidates who are serious about cutting government spending, debt, and taxes can?t get elected in Atlantic City.
4.? Use bankruptcy to get Atlantic City out of its unsustainable go vernment debt and sweetheart contracts.?? If bankruptcy was good for Donald Trump and Revel Casino-Hotel, it is also good for Atlantic City taxpayers.
5.? Get rid of the state law that forces each casino to have 350 to 500 hotel rooms.?? That dirty deal was made in 1978 to give the first casino, a client of power-broker Pat McGahn, a two-year monopoly.?? Why let only billionaires and big corporations own casinos in Atlantic City today??? Let laid-off casino workers and local business owners open their own casinos, as in Nevada?Let the “progressive” anti-corporation crowd of the left ?lead the fight to change this law so laid off casino workers and local business owners can open their own casinos and compete with them.
6.? Outlaw deed restrictions that prevent new owners from opening casinos in closed casino buildings.?? Years ago, state law ended similar deed restrictions that excluded, Jewish, Irish, and African-Americans from certain neighborhoods..
7.? Make it quick, cheap, and easy to get building and business permits again. Between 1900 and 1930, the biggest brick and steel hotels in Atlantic City were built and opened in less than a year.?? In the 1970?s, NJ and Atlantic City adopted zoning, building and environmental laws made almost every possible building or business in violation of something.?? Since then, only big corporations could afford the hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of delay to get ?variances? and other special exceptions to those laws. Now that Atlantic City?s casino monopoly is gone, even they can?t afford it.
*When the Press of Atlantic City published this as a Letter to the Editor on 8/6/2014, it deleted any reference to the third bus station, and the failed rodeo, opera house, and Revel Casiono.