Atlantic County Is Poised To Take State of New Jersey To Superior Court
EDITOR’S NOTE: We had this important story weeks before it became official today.
Here is our original report, which still stands up very well with today’s developments.
We can exclusively report that Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson is giving the state of New Jersey a last chance to resolve the current Atlantic City Casino PILOT legislation dispute for 2022 and going forward.
If they can’t settle their mutual differences, the threat of another Levinson/County of Atlantic lawsuit versus the state of New Jersey is looming large at this hour.
At the bottom of this breaking news report, is a definitive 3 page letter - that we have exclusively obtained - written by the special litigation legal counsel to the County of Atlantic … the law firm of MCELROY, DEUTSCH, MULVANEY & CARPENTER, LLP.
The letter was sent today, December 9, 2022 to Parimal Garg, Esq., Chief Counsel for the Office of the Governor of the State of New Jersey.
The legal letter ends with the following statement.
We remain available to discuss this proposed solution or any other solution that you believe to be appropriate. Time, however, is running out. We cannot delay much longer taking necessary measures in Court to protect our Clients’ rights under the CONSENT ORDER.
This same litigation firm successfully represented Levinson and the County of Atlantic on June 19, 2017, when they filed a lawsuit against the State of New Jersey, former Governor Christopher Christie, the City of Atlantic City, the Mayor of Atlantic City, and others challenging the constitutionality of the Casino Property Tax Stabilization Act, which was enacted on May 27, 2016.
This litigation by Dennis Levinson angered former Governor Christie and cost Matt Levinson his position as Chairman of the New Jersey Control Commission at the time.
Matt Levinson was widely praised during his time as the New Jersey Casino Casino Control Commission Chairman. This was a case of cold, hard ball political retaliation … to punish the son, in order to strike back at the father.
This is another moment of truth, critical tipping point, as the New Jersey Senate has recently approved legislation regarding the Atlantic City Casino PILOT legislation.
This was so important to outgoing New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, that he sponsored the legislation himself and has pushed it enthusiastically.
The New Jersey General Assembly Appropriations Committee will take up their own version of the legislation this Monday, December 13, 2021.
If it wins final approval, the New Jersey General Assembly bill A5587, would cost the Atlantic City Casino’s $ 15 million more in their base payment for the proposed 2022 PILOT (payment-in-lieu of taxes) versus the Senate version.
If the Assembly bill passes, the two bills will have to be reconciled.
All of this will have to take place during the current lame duck legislative session and they’re quickly running out of time.
if both houses of the New Jersey legislature fail to pass the same bill and obtain Governor Phil Murphy’s approval before the end of the lame duck session … the process would have to begin all over again.
The two bills are very similar in nature (A5587) and (S4007) both separate and remove sports and internet gaming from gaming revenues in the PILOT calculation.
People are squabbling over this … the Atlantic City Casinos has been making their case for separating these revenue streams.
Sweeney has cautioned that if this legislation does not pass, as many as four Atlantic City Casinos may close their doors forever.
Outgoing Atlantic County Assemblyman John Armato was the previous sponsor. He relinquished his role and it moves now to Assemblyman Lou Greenwald, a skilled legislator to shepherd the legislation from his perch in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
The Assembly committee will now deliberate with this latest news that the County of Atlantic is poised to file a lawsuit against all of the same parties that they prevailed over back in 2017.
The 3 page letter below clearly indicates that Levinson and Atlantic County would prefer to negotiate a settlement between all parties, but, they leave no doubt that absent a settlement … the County of Atlantic is prepared to file litigation in New Jersey Superior Court.
This is the type of inside letter that you almost never get the opportunity to read in real time on the very day it was generated. Here it is:
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