Friday, April 14, 2017

Atlantic County Mayors Fight AC PILOT Bill

Atlantic County is preparing to take on the state of New Jersey to end the state takeover of Atlantic City and repeal the controversial PILOT Bill. 
In an emergency meeting Friday morning, the Atlantic County Mayor's Association voted to invite all state officials representing Atlantic County to a hearing on April 28 to discuss what can be done to amend the PILOT Bill, which allows casinos to make fixed payments totaling $120 million annually in lieu of property taxes for 10 years.
If the mayors and county administration are not satisfied with the state officials' answers, they will file the lawsuit against the state, county executive Dennis Levinson said.

In the meantime, the county is considering filing an injunction to freeze the PILOT Bill. 
"This is not Atlantic County against Atlantic City," Levinson said. "This is between the casinos and the non-casino taxpayers."
The issues stem from the county not receiving the 13.5 percent of the PILOT money from casinos that was promised to them by Gov. Chris Christie.

Instead, the county will receive 10.4 percent of the annual PILOT collection. 
The move was a major blow to the county that will ultimately cost taxpayers $40 million to make up the difference over the 10-year lifespan of the bill, officials said.
The amount taxes will be increased countywide is yet to be determined. County Executive Dennis Levinson said it will range anywhere from 5 cents to 15 cents per $100 of equalized value. That could mean a county tax-rate increase between $100 and $300 for a $200,000 home.

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