Liberty & Prosperity Group Wins Casino Pilot Lawsuit

Judge Michael Blee

Back in 2017, Liberty and Prosperity made an agreement to settle their previous lawsuit with the State. They agreed that its 10 year plan for casinos to pay local property taxes based on their gross gambling income was OK, as long as online gambling and sports betting were included. 

In 2021, Governor Murphy and the Legislature changed the law to cut out that income. L&P sued to stop them.

Today, Judge Blee ruled in favor of Liberty and Prosperity. If his decision stands, the casinos must pay millions more in county, school and local taxes each year. Every taxpayer in Atlantic County should benefit.

Blee: In sum, there is no basis on the record for the Legislature’s “concerns” of pandemic-related casino losses, nor any evidence that the newly prescribed PILOT formula would preserve payments for the City, County and State. For this reason, the Court finds that the enactment of the 2021 Amendment was arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.

While the Court appreciates the unique role of the casino industry and the flow of its tax revenue in our State, as was discussed previously, the Constitution “explicitly forbids preferential [tax] treatment” to aid an industry.

The Court notes that while many industries within the State suffered incredible pandemic-related revenue losses, those industries were not provided any legislative property tax relief.


About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.