Atlantic County Shops For Lawyers To Fight PILOT, Mulls Injunction

Atlantic County is looking for a law firm to challenge a law that shrunk Atlantic City casinos’ tax payments and increased the property tax burden on homeowners and businesses. The county wants a law firm to “challenge the constitutionality of the Casino Property Tax Stabilization Act,” according to the request for proposals published on Thursday. The lawyers could be asked to seek an injunction “against the further implementation of the act.” Sealed bids are due on May 23 and any successful bidder would be awarded a 12-month contract. The law was agreed almost a year ago but did not come into effect until New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs declared Atlantic City in need of “stabilization” in November.

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Op-Ed: Stand Together to Fight State Takeover

Ben Franklin said it best at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” These words are very applicable in Atlantic City and Atlantic County today, with the unconstitutional state intrusion, taking of tax revenue and giveaways in Atlantic City. County Executive Dennis Levinson has been authorized by the Freeholder Board to sue the state in federal court over the flawed PILOT program. The city and county residents must lobby to support those efforts and expand the cause of action to include the necessary constitutional and civil rights claims against the state. How would this be done?

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The Optimist

William K. Cheatham attends most of the meetings of the City Council of Atlantic City. He attends the board meetings of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. He is president of the Board of Trustees of the Atlantic City Free Public Library, a member of the Shade Tree Committee and an alternate on the board of the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority. He was active in the First Ward Civic Association and was a regular at the meetings of the city Taxpayers Association (which reviewed the municipal budget) but those organizations no longer assemble on a regular basis. He’s a former member of the county construction board.

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Atlantic City Seeking Sculpture for Brown Memorial Park

Atlantic City has published a request-for-proposals for a sculpture to go in the renovated Harold R. Brown Memorial Park along Dr Martin Luther King Blvd. The city is requesting proposals to design, supply and install a sculpture, according to the bid notice. Sealed proposals should be submitted before the purchasing division’s meeting on Tuesday May 9 at 11 am. Artists interested in submitting a proposal should contact the purchasing department for bid specifications. Brown’s park has been transformed this year, since Councilman Kaleem Shabazz and others launched a campaign to try and find funds to clean it up:

Help Needed To Rebuild Atlantic City Memorial Park

Atlantic City Development Corp, the developer behind the Stockton University campus on Absecon Island, came forward to help out after the county said it couldn’t provide the funds.

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An interview with Kim Guadagno

For the past eight years, Kim Guadagno has been Gov. Chris Christie’s right-hand woman, serving both as the state’s first lieutenant governor and as secretary of state. She’s crisscrossed the state with a mandate to build business and cut regulation. She also served as acting governor when Christie was campaigning in 2016, first for himself and then for Donald Trump. Guadagno said that puts her in a unique position in this year’s race.

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Mapping Atlantic County’s Abandoned Homes

There are more than 4,600 abandoned homes spread across Atlantic County, with the bulk in Egg Harbor Township, Galloway Township and Atlantic City. Municipalities in the county have been collecting data on empty and foreclosed homes to try and force those responsible for the properties – the banks, or mortgagees – to take responsibility for their upkeep, in an effort to prevent neighborhood blight. We compiled an interactive map of the properties, using data obtained via an open records request from the Atlantic County Improvement Authority (ACIA). The data, obtained earlier this month, is not perfect. Some street addresses listed in the database could not be identified. And some of these properties may have already been sold.

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Why Did The Casino Association Ask A Norcross To Lobby CRDA?

The Casino Association of New Jersey last year hired Philip Norcross, brother of Democrat power-broker George, to lobby the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) on the topic of “economic development,” according to lobbying records. In recent years, Atlantic City casinos have received millions of dollars from CRDA for investments in their own properties, but last year, as part of the city takeover legislation, CRDA saw that chunk of its budget diverted to pay off city debt. A spokeswoman for The Casino Association of New Jersey, which includes all seven of Atlantic City’s remaining gaming properties, declined to give any details on its lobbying activity. A spokeswoman for CRDA did not immediately respond to a request for comment and Norcross did not return messages left on Friday. The lobbying records show that Norcross’ Optimus Partners also lobbied the legislature on behalf of the Casino Association on the topic of the takeover legislation.

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