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The New Jersey State Senate recently passed legislation granting several tax breaks for Atlantic City casinos, which have been shut down since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lawmakers also approved a separate measure allowing the casinos to apply for interest-free loans rather than pay Atlantic City and county taxes for as long as the pandemic shutters their doors.
Bill S2400 will see taxes on gambling venues reduced for a year once Atlantic City’s casinos are allowed to reopen, while hotel room fees will be scrapped until the end of this calendar year. Various other licensing fees will be deferred as well. Also, in a permanent change to the state’s gaming tax code, casinos can deduct both gaming credits and gaming coupons from their gross taxable revenues.
The bill was introduced by state senators Steve Sweeney and Chris Brown, who are a Democrat and a Republican respectively. The proposal is also looking for federal aid to the tune of around $100 million a year to aid small businesses via the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.
Brown said in a statement, “My concern has been and remains with the families who overnight found themselves unemployed and left to deal with a broken unemployment system for the last three months. Working in a bi-partisan manner, we took a step today toward saving 27,000 casino jobs while also assisting our small businesses so we can put our Atlantic County families back to work.”
Both bills now head to the New Jersey General Assembly, which is scheduled to meet on Thursday, June 25.