Just as Atlantic City seemed to be getting its fiscal house in order, an obscure provision within the PILOT law delivers yet another blow. According to a new study, if the City’s casinos surpass $3 Billion in gaming revenue this year, they’ll lose roughly $14 Million in 2020 due to a crediting mechanism within the 2016 legislation. The 10-year payment in lieu of tax bill is supposed to stabilize the City’s finances by temporarily slashing costly tax appeals. However, it’s time for a revision.
Maintaining Progress Is an Obligation
The truth is, state lawmakers must find a way to protect its jewel seaside resort, Atlantic City from another disaster. After all, if the City suffers, then the whole state will feel the effects. Therefore, it’s a duty to preserve progress so that AC doesn’t fall back into the same mess. At the same time, it would allow for developments to continue. As we all know, America’s Favorite Playground is in a Forward Motion. So a setback right now just can’t happen. In 2018, AC received almost $9.7 Million in IAT funds. However, the 2019 city budget anticipates more than $13.8 Million from IAT funds. All of this is due to a crediting concept in the law that holds casino tax payments at four-year-old levels. Back then, nobody even saw the rise of sports betting in the State.
Lawmakers Must Draft New Bill
All in all, If AC’s casino industry reaches the $3 billion revenue threshold outlined in the PILOT bill, then the City will not receive any IAT funds for the next two years. In other words, AC will face a punishing blow because lawmakers didn’t expect this level of progress four years ago. According to Lisa Ryan at the Department of Community Affairs. “We’re aware of the IAT issue and working with the City.” Unfortunately, there’s still isn’t a solution, although Ryan did say the situation is only short-term and that the City will be in the positive from 2020 and beyond. From that perspective, AC might not be able to get around this one.