Kean, Whelan Introduce Bill to Bring World-Class Entertainment & Economic Boost to AC, NJ

Senator Jim Whelan congratulates Congressman Donald Norcross on his succession to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senate Democrat James Whelan introduced legislation to bring world-class entertainment to venues in Atlantic City and across New Jersey and, in turn, boost the state’s economy and job market.

“This initiative costs taxpayers nothing and offers so much to gain for working- and middle-class residents,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “Right now, world tours and widely popular entertainment aren’t repeatedly coming to New Jersey’s venues and consistently drawing tourists to our state. There is tremendous value in the ability to consistently draw world-class entertainment here, especially considering widely successful A-Lister residencies in Las Vegas, where there’s no state income tax.”

“We continue to declare the importance of diversifying the types of entertainment available to attract tourists to Atlantic City, transitioning the community into a resort city rather than just a gambling destination,” said Whelan (D-Atlantic), chairman of the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee. “Attracting big-named performers and artists is a step in the right direction.  Las Vegas has had great success with performers in residence from Celine Dion to Britney Spears. I am excited about the possibility of attracting stars to the Garden State, providing our residents with the opportunity to see some great acts, all while boosting our economy.”

This legislation, announced by Senator Kean on Jan. 15, will regularly attract A-List performers to the GardenState. Qualifying entertainers who perform at least four dates in Atlantic City’s tourism district would get a state tax credit on all income they earn performing at any New Jersey venue, including in Atlantic City, Camden, Trenton, Newark and Holmdel, in the same calendar year. The Secretary of State will set the qualifying criteria, including record sales, ticket sales, awards, etc., and a transparent application process will be administered by the Director of the Division of Taxation.

“The extraordinary net benefits of this legislation will open up economic growth and job opportunities at and around venues across New Jersey, as popular talent attracts fans from all over to fill seats and help support existing and open new neighboring restaurants, hotels and businesses,” Kean said. “It will naturally improve New Jersey’s and Atlantic City’s image to be more attractive, widely accessible and entertainment-based, without a costly campaign. I am confident that Senator Whelan’s leadership and commitment to improving tourism and the economy in Atlantic City and across the state will play a big part in advancing this legislation to Gov. Christie’s desk as soon as possible.”