Atlantic City appeals to deny PILOT amendments from being struck down

The state of New Jersey has filed a motion that requests the stay of a 29 August decision by a judge, who removed amendments to the casino payment-in-lieu-of-taxes legislation, pending appeal.

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The request is due to be heard on 7 October by Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Michael Blee.

Previously, Blee had ruled that the amendments made to the PILOT law, which were passed in 2021, were carried out dubiously – and therefore a violation of the state constitution. Said amendments allowed casinos millions of dollars’ worth of tax breaks, with the removal of internet and online sports gaming from gross gaming revenue (GGR) calculations.

The state argued in a brief that Atlantic City’s finances would be thrown into chaos, with the benefits of the amendments lost, if the judge’s order was not put on hold until the appeal can be heard.

Responding to Judge Blee’s order, Liberty and Prosperity President Seth Grossman said the state had given “no credible fact or expert opinion evidence that laws reducing taxes for a specific industry, such as casino properties, and raising taxes on other properties increases the overall economic health of Atlantic City and Atlantic County.”

Meanwhile, Chief of Investigations for the Division of Gaming Enforcement, Christopher Glaum, said: “If this Court’s invalidation of the Amendment goes into effect, then the former statute will be in effect, and reinvestment into the casino hotel properties may decline as it did during the 2009–2017 period. This would have substantial economic and societal impacts not just to Atlantic City, but to the state as a whole.”


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