Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Nutley) this morning announced plans to introduce a measure that will explicitly detail how state funding derived from casinos in the northern part of the state will be used, including aid to senior programs such as Senior Freeze, Meals on Wheels and PAAD (Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled), funding for public space and transportation improvements and support for Atlantic City recovery initiatives.
“Transparency and clarity is critical for residents and all parties involved in the North Jersey casino debate, especially, as we move closer to November elections,” said Caputo. “We have seen and heard many different opinions on this issue, both negative and positive. However, it is important that the Legislature’s intent for any funding coming out of a casino built in the north is spelled out clearly and as definitively as possible.
“Voters should be clear as to what they will be casting their vote on in November. They should know where we stand. With this resolution, our intent for the state portion of the funding from casinos in the northern part of the state will now be in writing and have an opportunity to be agreed upon by both houses.”
The Assembly Concurrent Resolution will express the Legislature’s intent in approving Senate Concurrent Resolution No 1 of 2016, which proposes to amend the state constitution to authorize casino gambling in the northern part of the state and is to be considered by the voters at the November 2016 election.
The concurrent resolution will provide details on the distribution of state funds derived from casino gambling in the northern part of the state, which will include the following:
(1) Provide funding to counties for public spaces and transportation and infrastructure and infrastructure improvements, with the funding allocations based on population and competitive criteria;
(2) Provide funding to benefit senior citizens in the state through property tax reductions and vulnerable populations through programs administered by the counties;
(3) Provide funding for the recovery of Atlantic City through programs for job placement for displaced workers form previously closed casino properties in Atlantic City;
(4) Continue promotional support for Atlantic City as a destination resort;
(5) For grants and loans to promote non-gaming development, attractions, and destination programming;
(6) For programs designed to aid and encourage the thoroughbred and standard bred industries;
(7) And for infrastructure and transportation improvements and airport enhancements.
The resolution also includes the intent of the Legislature to establish a tax rate considerably higher than the tax rate currently applied to revenues derived from casino gambling in Atlantic City, and to be tiered according to the amount of the investment made for each casino development.
Additionally, the measure will include various guidelines for choosing a location, selecting licensed operators, and the administration of programs to be funded from state revenues.
The concurrent resolution will be introduced on Thursday, September 15.