Atlantic County Drops Challenge to PILOT Deal.

Atlantic County Levinson

Atlantic County met in the middle. Says 12% is OK. County Exec Levinson originally expected 13.5 % as promised by Gov. Christie. [see update below]

The former Gov. had a memory lapse. Changed his mind. Only offered 10.4% to County. That’s a $4 million hit that county taxpayers would have to eat over the life of the allegedly unconstitutional PILOT. Payment in Lieu of Taxes. This is where AC Casinos crafted a sweet deal for themselves, paying a fixed tax amount for 10 years. 

Seth Grossman, who played a key role in this courtroom battle, confirmed to ACprimetime, that after a full day of settlement talks at the courthouse on Friday, April 20, a tentative agreement was reached between the County and State.

According to Grossman, who was representing in this case, ‘although all negotiations were confidential, statements were recited on record in open court before Judge Mendez at about 4:15 last Friday and are public record.’

Editor’s note: Was there additional discussion/negotiation between the County and the State? Beyond what Grossman was a part of? Will Mr. Levinson get an even better deal than what’s printed above? Closer to the 13.5% he was originally promised? We shall see.

Linda Gilmore, the Public Information Officer, Atlantic County says: At this time there is only a proposed settlement, which must be reviewed and agreed to by all parties – the county and the six municipalities which filed suit.

You Be the Judge. View the press conference where Governor Chris Christie promises Atlantic County taxpayers they will receive 13.5% of the annual casino payment in lieu of taxes. Unfortunately, the former governor did not keep his promise, potentially leaving the taxpayers holding the bag for a loss of $40 million over the life of the PILOT program.

Levinson: Vindictiveness of previous Governor. Settlement conference. Favorable to taxpayers. Confidential at this time, says Denny.

To be fair, Judge Mendez was in a tough spot. Un-winding the PILOT bill is fraught with all kinds of land mines.

Most acknowledge that casino assessments are far from perfect. Expensive ‘fast track construction’ contributed to the almost non-nonsensical assessments.

Hard to believe, but construction costs were once a primary metric for determining just how much Atlantic City casinos would ultimately pay in taxes.

About Seth Grossman: A leading candidate looking to fill the 2nd district Congressional seat that will soon be vacated by Congressman Frank LoBiondo.

With the State of NJ in full control of AC, don’t expect the City tax assessor to put any effort into placing a more fair tax assessment on the Atlantic City Casinos.

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