The Borgata Casino in New Jersey is owed more than $150 million in tax refunds by Atlantic City, with the city paying back the money via a payment plan. It was on the 8th of December that the city missed a payment, totaling $62.5 million, with the missed payment covering the 2009 and 2010 years. The Borgata has now asked the Superior Court Law Division to order the city to pay the missed amount plus interest. The amount must be paid within 30 days per the request.
Borgata is not only requesting the missed payment plus interest but also requesting for any legal fees that the Borgata may have incurred to also be paid, as they try to receive the money owed. The Senior Vice President for the Borgata, Joe Lupo, stated that he is frustrated with the debt, telling the Associated Press that the casino is merely asserting their rights as a taxpayer to receive the refund of overpayments.
The casino is disappointed that the city has focused on them in an attempt to resolve the situation in Atlantic City, while having paid refunds to every other property in the area. According to Don Guardian, the mayor of Atlantic City, the city cannot pay the debt and forcing the city to do so would cause bankruptcy. Atlantic City has been struggling for some time and is not currently able to apply for a bond or receive relief from the government unless they prove fiscal responsibility.
Right now, the city is awaiting assistance in the form of a financial assistance package. This package would be $60 million government aid that has already passed in Legislature and must now be signed by Governor Chris Christie to be valid. City officials are now worried that the Borgata may try to seize assets of the city if they are not able to pay the refund installment amount. Lupo says that the Borgata is not to blame for the inability of the city to pay back the debt and calls the issue a situation caused by decades of fiscal mismanagement and wasteful spending by the city.
The city must now wait and see what a judge decides as to whether or not the court will order the city to pay the debt to the Borgata within the 30 day time frame. If the court rules for the Borgata, the city will be close to declaring bankruptcy to be in compliance.