Samantha Marcus | June 15, 2020 | NJ Advance Media |
New Jersey lawmakers voted for a scaled back set of tax breaks for Atlantic City casinos on Monday after social services providers for the elderly and people with disabilities warned the first version of the plan endangered funding for their programs.
Casinos have been shuttered since mid-March to slow the spread of the coronavirus in New Jersey. Gov. Phil Murphy has said he hopes to allow them to reopen by July 4th. But they’re already feeling the financial effects of the pandemic crisis, as casino revenue plummeted 69% in April, marking the worst month on record. Tens of thousands of casinos employees have been laid off.
The legislation permanently expands the tax deductions casinos can take for promotional gaming credits and reduces the tax liability for one year on gross revenue if a casino suffered revenue losses on its brick-and-mortar operations during the pandemic.
Casinos also would be able to defer their licensing payments to the state until six months after they’re permitted to reopen and $500 licensing fees imposed on every slot machine would be waived until June 30, 2021. It’s all part of a package of tax relief lawmakers said is needed to help casinos bounce back from more than three months of lost business.
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