Atlantic City Gets Tax Relief, Help For Neighborhoods

Atlantic City has struck a deal with Wells Fargo to sell a major tax lien on the closed Revel casino, the city’s mayor said. The $32 million lien did not initially sell at auction. The city will receive $26 million for the lien. And a bill that would help homeowners and businessmen, as well as casinos, has been introduced.

Atlantic City mayor Donald Guardian announced that the city will receive million on the sale of a tax lien on the closed Revel casino to Wells Fargo.

The $32.5 million tax lien failed to sell at a city tax sale last month. Wells Fargo is the chief lender to Revel and is supporting the bankrupt casino as it tries to execute a sale.

Guardian also said the city has been paid $22 million for a tax lien that did sell at the sale against Trump Entertainment Resorts. An unidentified buyer bought the lien against the closed Trump Plaza casino.

Guardian said the total of $48 million from the two liens, plus a $40 million note secured Friday with the State of New Jersey, will be enough to allow Atlantic City to pay its workers, continue operations, and send the county and school systems their share of the tax revenue owed for 2014.

In another matter facing Revel, ACR Energy Partners—Revel’s sole power supplier—has asked a federal judge for permission “to terminate energy services to the Revel.”

The company said it can’t afford to continue supplying power to the casino hotel at current rates while the casino is in bankruptcy.

ACR, which has a 20-year energy contract with Revel, wants to be repaid, with interest, for helping build Revel’s power plant with $118.6 million in municipal bonds and a roughly $40 million equity investment.

Revel officials say the financing fees should not be included in the casino’s energy bill.

The casino could be sold to Florida-based developer Glen Straub, but Straub is disputing the price of the casino. At an auction for the property, Brookfield Asset management won the property for $110 million, but later withdrew from the deal.

Straub wants to have his $95 million bid during the auction withdrawn and go back to his original $87 million bid.

Revel cost $2.4 billion to build.

Meanwhile, Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo of Atlantic County has introduced a bill in Trenton geared toward using tax breaks to help existing Atlantic City neighborhoods surrounding casinos.

The bill deals with the Neighborhood Revitalization State Tax Credit Program, where businesses that invest in the revitalization of eligible low and moderate-income neighborhoods can get tax credits.

Under the program, neighborhoods must be in municipalities that receive special state aid. The law was later expanded to adjacent neighborhoods in similar economic trouble.

Atlantic City would now meet the criteria under the bill, which would extend eligibility to neighborhoods in a municipality where casino gaming is authorized and its adjacent areas.

“We need to use everything in our arsenal when it comes to reinvigorating Atlantic City’s economy, helping the middle-class and bringing tax relief and job creation throughout Atlantic County,” Mazzeo said in a statement.