Says Use of Targeted Tax Credits Can Help Restore Jobs and Vitality to Atlantic City
TRENTON – State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, the sponsor of legislation which offers tax increment financing and other economic incentives to spur job-creating development in New Jersey, today praised the announcement that the Revel Casino mega-resort project is back on track in Atlantic City.
“The Revel project is an essential part of Atlantic City’s economic salvation,” said Senator Lesniak, D-Union. “Thanks to a mix of tax credits and development incentives – as well as new policies to improve the economic prospects of the casino industry in Atlantic City – we’ve been able to break the logjam which has delayed construction and halted the creation of vital jobs at the Revel site. With the announcement that the Revel casino project is once again proceeding with a new development team, the future of Atlantic City as a worldwide tourism destination appears to be a little bit brighter.”
Senator Lesniak’s bill, the “New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act” which was signed into law in 2009, implemented a number of development incentives to encourage private investment and economic growth within municipalities. Since its adoption, tax increment financing through the legislation has been a useful economic growth tool to spur private investment in New Jersey, including the Revel project.
Senator Lesniak noted that the Revel project would, when completed, result in a 1,900 hotel-room casino mega-resort with 150,000 square feet of gaming space, 35,500 square feet of entertainment space, 170,000 square feet of convention space, 20 restaurants, and 44,000 square feet of beach amenities. The total private investment in the Revel mega-resort is expected to be approximately $2 billion when construction is complete, and will produce $134 million a year in State and local tax revenues, not including income and payroll taxes. Revel will create 2,600 construction jobs and 5,500 permanent jobs at the site, as well as an additional 2,500 construction and permanent jobs from manufacturing vendors, suppliers and professional and consultant work related to the project and its infrastructure, totaling 11,000 permanent and construction jobs.
Senator Lesniak has also sponsored additional measures to give Atlantic City a competitive edge over casinos and gaming facilities in neighboring states. He sponsored the recently approved legislation to allow casinos to operate intrastate and international online gaming and wagering, and is fighting against the federal ban which prohibits New Jersey casinos and racetracks to take wagers on sporting events.
“While the policy changes in Atlantic City will go a long ways to improve the sustainability and stability of the resort’s economy, and while the Revel project will be a welcome addition to the Atlantic City casino industry, our work to make Atlantic City a true tourism destination is far from complete,” said Senator Lesniak. “In addition to development incentives and regulatory relief, we need to offer new gaming products, and that includes Internet wagering and sports wagering. There’s no magic bullet cure to the economic problems affecting Atlantic City and the gaming and wagering industries Statewide, but by taking a comprehensive, creative approach to stabilizing and revitalizing the economy, we can make a difference and ensure that Atlantic City remains the economic engine of southern New Jersey.”