TRENTON – A bill to amend the Casino Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act and to provide a substantial tax cut for Atlantic City gambling dens was passed by the Senate Budget Committee on Monday without discussion of its tax estimate and without the appearance of a casino representative. .
Only one person spoke on the bill, S4007, and it was former Atlantic City mayor and now elected Assembly member Donald Guardian who opposed it.
“It will force Atlantic County taxpayers to pay more for the casino industry to receive tax relief,” Guardian told R-Atlantic.
Among other things, it subtracts income from sports and internet games from the definition of gross gaming income. It also sets the base 2022 PILOT payment at $ 110 million, far less than the $ 165 million casinos would have to pay had the current PILOT bill remained unchanged, according to a Legislative Services Office tax analysis.
Eight Democrats voted for the bill, while three Republicans, including State Senator Michael Testa, R-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, abstained. Republican Senator Samuel D. Thompson, R-Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, voted no.
To both sides of the aisle, the warning from State Senate President Steve Sweeney that four of the city’s nine casinos would likely close without the passage of the new PILOT seemed to trump all other concerns.