Christie-Sweeney "rescue bills" for Atlantic City: 10 year lifeboats for 8 casino hotels--Rest of city and county drown!
Please forward this email to your NJ State Senator and Assembly Members before they vote in Trenton at 2pm this afternoon. Then send it to everyone you know.
Senate Bill #1715 is a bail-out and cover-up. It rescues nobody but Wall Street banks and big campaign donors. Tell your legislators: "You will regret voting 'yes' for this dirty bill".
1. These bills deny Atlantic City taxpayers bankruptcy relief and force them to repay full half billion dollars ($500 million) debt. Most was incurred since 2010 in violation of Local Budget Law by state “monitors” appointed by Republican Governor Christie. Who is really being “rescued”? Atlantic City, or the Wall Street bankers who made big fees packaging and selling this toxic debt?
2. Repayment of this unconscionable and unsustainable debt is to be “restructured”, not reduced. Instead of cutting principal, payments will be stretched out to crush taxpayers and kill property values for generations.
3. Atlantic City’s 8 most expensive properties, the casino hotels now pay 50% of city, and 25% of county taxes. The “rescue” bills make a mockery of NJ State Constitution by declaring casino hotels “blighted areas in need of redevelopment”. Proponents of the “rescue” bills claim that declaring this lie allows state to ignore NJ State Constitution and exempt all 8 casino hotels from all tax increases needed to repay that debt—all future employee salary and health care increases, and most county taxes for next ten years. All other taxpayers must pay double. NJ Politicians call this “P.I.L.O.T.” as if it is normal to let the richest properties in town pay “Peanuts In Lieu of Taxes”.
4. The same Christie Republicans and Sweeney Democrats pushing this legislation today, falsely claimed $400 million of taxpayer investment and tax abatements for Revel Casino would save Atlantic City in 2010. This same bi-partisan mob already took over Atlantic City finances in October 2010, and made a bad situation far worse.
5. Atlantic County Democratic Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, who first sponsored these bills, publicly admitted they were written by the Casino Association of NJ which paid millions to their lobbyists Optimus Partners. One Optimus partner is Phil Norcross, brother of Democrat power broker George Norcross. The other is Republican Jeff Michaels, boyhood friend of Republican Gov. Christie.
6. Article VIII of NJ Constitution states that all real estate in NJ must be assessed and taxed equally, except for veterans, farmers, senior citizens, and “blighted areas”. If NJ State Senators and Assembly Members get away with giving ten year tax breaks to all 8 luxury casinos by calling them “blighted areas”, they can give big tax breaks to anyone with political influence in any town, in any county, anywhere in the state-- and force everyone else to pay the difference.
7. This is a “bail-out” and “cover-up”—not a “rescue”.
GET THE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR YOUR STATE SENATOR AND ASSEMBLY MEMBERS AT LINK BELOW. DON'T DELAY. THEY WILL BE VOTING ON SENATE BILL #1715 AT 2:00 PM TODAY!
Here is the link:
Please contact me if you need more information. Thank you for your consideration.
Seth Grossman, Executive Director