A state appeals panel of New Jersey recently found that Atlantic City had overcharged the Borgata casino of property taxes and will now have to pay around $63 million to the gambling property. The ruling found that the casino would be receiving a $48 million tax refund along with $15 million in interest for the 2009 and 2010 tax years. This is a separate ruling from the 2014 tax settlement in which the casino property was granted $88 million for additional tax years.
Atlantic City has been subject to many tax appeals over the last ten years as gaming facilities have argued that the properties are not worth what they were in the past, as the gambling market continues to decline. Just last year, four casinos shut down, leaving only 8 remaining in the gambling city. Revenues have fell to just $2.74 billion in 2014 from the $5.2 billion earned in 2006.
A new bill recently surfaced in Atlantic City which would allow the casinos to make payments instead of tax payments for a fifteen year time frame, also banning the option of appealing taxes. The bill was passed by the state legislature and must now be decided upon by Governor Chris Christie.
However, for now, Atlantic City must deal with the current tax appeals. The ruling on Monday upheld a tax court ruling of 2013 which reduced the taxable valuation of Borgata from the $2.2 billion amount for 2009 and 2010 to a much lower $880 million and $870 million respectively.
Tom Balance, the President of the Borgata, was relieved by the ruling but wishes that the case was not necessary to begin with. The casino would rather the city charge the correct amount of property taxes from the very beginning. Don Guardian, the Mayor of Atlantic City, has stated that the appeals are killing the finances of Atlantic City and is trying to get Christie to sign the new taxes bill.