NJ Lawmaker Offers Plan to Save Atlantic City
New Jersey Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield) has proposed a plan to reinvigorate the economy of the Atlantic City region for the next few years.
His letter, delivered Wednesday to the head of the New Jersey Gaming, Sports & Entertainment Advisory Commission, pointed to property tax relief as the number one way to "stop the bleeding" and help Atlantic City successfully transition from just a gambling hub to a complete resort destination.
At an Atlantic City summit in September, Gov. Chris Christie asked for any and all ideas to help the struggling resort town in a year that's produced four casino closures so far.
"Taxes have skyrocketed by 53 percent in the last two years alone," Mazzeo's letter stated. "The growing tax burden is unsustainable and many residents have fled our region."
Under his proposal, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) would reallocate a portion of its unused budget over the next five fiscal years for property tax relief at the city and county level. At the same time, Atlantic City would need to prove that cuts are being made elsewhere.
"Throughout its existence the CRDA has put more than $1 billion into projects benefiting the Atlantic City region, but now our biggest obstacle…is the tax burden on businesses and residents throughout Atlantic County, not just the city," Mazzeo said, referring to his plan as a "short-term fix, not a long-term solution."
The CRDA could not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
Another summit is scheduled for Nov. 12.