Atlantic City Leaders Blast Takeover Bid
New Jersey lawmakers have proposed expanding the state's oversight of Atlantic City, and local leaders aren't happy.
The legislation, which was introduced in the Senate this week, would expand the state's control to municipal authorities and assets and keep the city under state supervision for 15 years, reports The Wall Street Journal. The city's budget and administration have already been subject to approval by a state monitor since 2010, and an emergency manager has overseen the city's day-to-day finances for the past year. The bill is co-sponsored by state Sen. Paul Sarlo, Senate president Steve Sweeney and Sen. Kevin O'Toole.
The WSJ says the latest proposal appears aimed at taking over and possibly selling the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority; there have been discussions about leasing or privatizing the utility, which could potentially sell for $100M. State lawmakers said increased state control is necessary for Atlantic City to avoid bankruptcy; the city had a $100M budget shortfall in 2015. It's seen four casinos close in the past year and $200M in revenue lost to property tax appeals. [WSJ]