Former corporate raider and activist investor Carl Icahn recently filed tax appeals in New Jersey to dispute the assessed value of his recently sold Trump Taj Mahal and the derelict Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. Icahn is seeking relief for at least a portion of the $32.7 million the tax man says is owed.
The Press of Atlantic City is reporting that with the latest appeals Icahn has now sought 10 reductions in taxes for Atlantic City properties going back four years for each the Taj and Plaza and for the years 2015 and 2016 for the Tropicana.
Property tax refunds through the appeals process are commonplace in many jurisdictions and industries, however, Atlantic City is already in deep financial trouble and can scarcely give away money the city has presumably already budgeted. The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was seeking $165 million in tax refunds but settled for $72 million in February, stressing the finances of the city when it could least afford it and helping to put AC deeper in debt.
The complaints do not specify the amount of relief Icahn is seeking and no government entities involved in the dispute went on record with the media outlet to relay any details.
According to The Press, Icahn’s companies paid the city over $32.7 million in property taxes last year on assessments that have all fallen since 2014.
From an assessed value of $812 million in 2014, the Taj Mahal’s official taxable value shrank to $225 million.
Trump Plaza was assessed at $209 million when it closed in 2014 it is now only worth about $31 million in assessed value.
Even the successful Tropicana saw a reduction in assessed value from $680 million in 2014 to $580 million this year.
Gov. Chris Christie last week said that the state is willing to negotiate “the same way we negotiated with the folks at Borgata,” but that “everyone needs to understand is there’s not much money left here.”
Although it’s unclear what Icahn plans for the Trump Plaza, he recently sold the Taj to Hard Rock International investors who plan to invest some $400 million in the property that has been slowly deteriorating while its fate was determined. Icahn closed the property on October 10, 2016, after failing to reach an agreement with workers to restore health benefits along with other labor relations issues.