The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority collects 1.25 percent of revenue from Atlantic City's 11 casinos and invests the money into community projects. CRDA has invested $1.8 billion since its inception in 1984. Of that, $1.5 billion has stayed in the city, but the agency also provides funding for initiatives in the surrounding region and North Jersey.
State law establishing the CRDA in 1984 gave all funding to Atlantic City during the early years of casinos' long-term investments, but required the money to be shared in increasing proportions with outside projects, first in South Jersey and then statewide.
In February, new state laws changed that, requiring money to stay within the resort going forward. The same laws also established the state Tourism District in Atlantic City and put the CRDA in charge of it.
A 17-member board still controls CRDA spending and other initiatives. An appointment to the board comes with an $18,000 annual stipend unless the person is chairman, which pays $23,000, or serves in one of the two seats reserved for casino industry representatives, which are unpaid.
Taxpayers throughout New Jersey fund the state Department of Community Affairs. Its current budget is $734.5 million, down $391 million, or 35 percent, from $1.125 billion in 2010.
Both agencies are charged with improving communities and creating opportunities for residents to optimize their quality of life. So they often subsidize the construction of sub-market-rate housing for low and moderate-income families.
Sources: Documents from and Web sites for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and Department of Treasury's Office of Management and Budget