State’s revenue collections weaken in June

There’s no improvement in the state’s revenue picture according to new numbers from the Treasury Department. So far this fiscal year, total revenue collections of $29.8 billion are down $3 billion, or 9.2% below the same period last year. Revenue collections for all the major taxes fell sharply in June.

A blockbuster casino industry deal means a change of ownership for several properties in Atlantic City and the return of billionaire investor Carl Icahn. New Jersey regulators Friday gave final approval for a $17.3 billion buyout that creates the world’s largest casino company, with Icahn as the largest single shareholder.

Nevada-based Eldorado Resorts will acquire Caesars Entertainment and three of its Atlantic City properties: Caesars, Harrah’s and the Tropicana. Eldorado is promising not to close any of those properties for at least five years. Meantime, Caesars is selling its fourth Atlantic City property, Bally’s, to a Rhode Island company.

Throughout this economic downturn, the housing market has held up, thanks in part to low mortgage rates. This week rates hit a new record low. The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell below 3%. That’s the lowest level since 1971, when the housing agency Freddie Mac began tracking rates.