Six out of ten New Jerseyans oppose giving $300 million in tax breaks to an Atlantic City casino, according to a new Fairleigh Dickinson University poll. The Revel casino has applied for a series of property tax and sales tax abatements.
Supporters say the tax breaks would help create jobs in a struggling economy, while critics call it a bailout for the casino’s key investor, Morgan Stanley.
Among registered voters, 39% strongly oppose giving tax breaks and 21% somewhat oppose it; 11% strongly favor it, and 16% somewhat favor it. Most voters (62%) are unaware of the tax abatement application.
“The scale and targeted nature of these tax incentives is completely new,” said Donald Hoover, a professor in FDU’s International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and a former casino executive. “While New Jersey and Atlantic City have offered incentives to particular casinos, they’ve never been anywhere near this large.”
“This is not a good economic climate in which to mix Wall Street with questions of tax incentives for big companies,” Hoover added. “But it does make sense to try to make Atlantic City more competitive with other gaming destinations, and to keep the development going.”
The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll surveyed 802 registered voters between March 23-28 and has a margin of error of +/- 3%.