Atlantic City Under Christie Administration: a Quick Recap
Deep cuts to the public-service sector, two shuttered casinos find buyers, and a credit upgrade — with the proviso that outlook for AC is still negative
- Credit: Anthony Smedile / NewsWorks
The Christie administration in November took control of the Atlantic City government, which had been near crippled by a casino crisis, declining tax base, and a yawning budget hole.
The state takeover is a fait accompli at this point. Here’s a quick look at what’s been happening in the resort city over the past four months.
Police and fire cuts
State officials announced cuts to the fire department in December and vowed similar budget-slashing measures for the police department in March.
The proposal included salary cuts, the elimination of payouts for unused sick time, and a different health plan. One hundred firefighters and 24 cops would be laid off.
The police and firefighters unions sued to block the cuts, saying they would pose a risk to public safety. Judge Julio Mendez put the layoffs on hold but gave the green light to the other cuts.
Borgata tax appeal settlement
In February, the state reached a settlement on a longstanding tax appeal by the Borgata, netting the casino $72 million, less than half of what it was owed by the city.
Shuttered casinos find buyers
Two of the five casinos that closed in Atlantic City in the last few years found new buyers. Hard Rock International bought the former Trump Taj Mahal, and the shuttered Atlantic Club was purchased by Ventnor-based R&R Development Group.
After a slew of credit downgrades Atlantic City finally saw its credit rating notch upward. Earlier this month, Standard & Poor's increased the city's bond rating from CCC- to CC but said that the outlook for Atlantic City is still negative.
on NewsWorks, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.