Suggests Boosting Property Tax Relief as Part of Efforts to Reinvigorate Atlantic City
(2nd LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) — Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo on Thursday proposed boosting property tax relief throughout Atlantic County as part of the ongoing effort to reinvigorate the Atlantic City region’s economy.
In a letter to Jon Hanson, who has helped lead the state’s efforts to boost Atlantic City, Mazzeo (D-Atlantic) noted the 53 percent property tax increase suffered by Atlantic City residents in the last two years, along with increases throughout Atlantic County.
“Our priority as local leaders must be to reduce the property tax burden on Atlantic County’s hard-working middle-class families and seniors,” Mazzeo said. “The growing tax burden is unsustainable and many residents have fled our region. We must act — and we must act now.”
Mazzeo proposed having the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) reallocate a large portion of its unused budget over the next five fiscal years for property tax relief at both the city and county level. The additional aid would come with sensible cuts in the Atlantic City budget that wouldn’t hurt essential services.
“Throughout its existence the CRDA has put more than $1 billion into projects benefiting the Atlantic City region, but now our biggest obstacle in transitioning Atlantic City to the resort destination it needs to be is the tax burden on businesses and residents throughout Atlantic County, not just the city,” Mazzeo said. “Relieving that burden for Atlantic City and Atlantic County should remain our top focus.”
Mazzeo has already introduced property tax reform legislation, including bills to eliminate salary for part-time members of certain boards, commissions, and independent authorities; encourage shared services among local governments; reform property assessment; provide property tax help for residents impacted by a natural disaster; and eliminate the transfer inheritance tax and increase the filing threshold and applicable exclusion amount under the New Jersey estate tax.
“Atlantic City’s transition into becoming the resort destination we know it can be is a work in progress,” Mazzeo said. “It won’t happen overnight, but it won’t happen if the residents are taxed out of the city. Our focus must remain on bettering Atlantic City, and thus the county as a whole, and this is one of a series of steps I’m working on in the upcoming weeks to help relieve the tax burden on our families and help put Atlantic City and Atlantic County back on the right track.”
A copy of the letter can be viewed here.