For nearly 40 years Atlantic City's casinos have been a major tax revenue source for the state, with casino gaming revenue taxed at 8 percent. But just how much tax revenue has the city's biggest industry produced? Quite a bit.

Since Resorts opened in 1978 a steady stream of tax income has headed to the state's coffers, according to data in a report from the state Department of Gaming Enforcement shows

At one point the state was collecting six different fees or taxes on the city's gaming halls. Presently it collects four taxes or fees along with forfeited winnings and expired gaming obligations, according to the report.

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The tax stream started small, only $1.5 million in the 1978 fiscal year, but soon exploded as Atlantic City boomed and casinos sprung up along the Boardwalk.

A decade later the city was sending the state over $188 million a year.

The industry broke the $200 million mark the next year. It was a decade of consistent growth marked by several remarkable jumps in tax revenue. From 1988 to 1989 the tax revenue grew $13 million. In 1992 tax revenue went up $16 million, to just under the $250 million mark. A few years later the city's casinos were consistently sending over $300 million to the state.

The next decade, 1998 to 2007 might have been the most interesting for the city's casinos.

The state, consistently facing budget holes, levied new taxes on the casinos.

In 2003 the legislature enacted a parking fee, a hotel room, fee, a progressive slot tax, a comp tax and a net income tax. In 2004 that added $89 million to the annual amount sent to the state. The number has declined every year since.

Also during that time the casinos were raking in record numbers just as their East Coast gaming monopoly ended. In the 2006 fiscal year Atlantic City's casinos peaked and sent more than $500 million to Trenton. That year the first gaming halls opened in Pennsylvania.

And the result of that monopoly ending was immediately reflected in the numbers as the city's casino tax revenue fell more than $50 million to $446 million the next year.

The last nine years the tax revenue numbers clearly reflect the city's struggles. As casinos popped up along the East Coast and visitors left Atlantic City, revenue fell by over $200 million. It bottomed out at $205 million in the 2015 fiscal year. That was the lowest amount since 1987.

But last year showed a ray of hope as the casino tax revenue rebounded slightly to $210 million.

In all, Atlantic City casinos have sent $9.9 billion to Trenton over nearly 40 years of casino gaming.

Contact: 609-272-7090

SHughes@pressofac.com

Twitter ACPress_hughes

Local news editor at the Press of Atlantic City. SUNY Geneseo and Syracuse University grad. New Jersey transplant.

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