Regarding the July 22 story, "Atlantic City's revenue from luxury tax on the rebound":

This tax is unique to Atlantic City. No other municipality in New Jersey is so fortunate as to have its own sales tax as a source of municipal income. Given Atlantic City's unique needs - historically and currently - as an economic driver for the entire state, this is good - for all of us. We New Jerseyans all benefit when Atlantic City prospers, and the city has the resources to facilitate this prosperity.

A June 21 letter, "In the 1960s, Atlantic City lost a chance to become a national center for fine art," blamed former state Sen. Frank S. "Hap" Farley for not supporting a museum housing architect Louis Kahn's art collection in Atlantic City. The letter writer said Farley "did not want any new and potentially disturbing force to come into his town, which might threaten his total political control."

The letter continued, "Farley, thinking not of the desperate condition of Atlantic City but only of his own personal political needs, condemned an entire city to a slow death."

However, Atlantic City's luxury tax owes its very existence to the considerable political muscle possessed, and exercised effectively, by Farley, on behalf of the citizens of Atlantic City, Atlantic County and New Jersey.

It can convincingly be argued that in addition to being responsible for the enactment of the luxury tax, Farley played pivotal, if not singular, roles in the building of the Garden State Parkway, the Atlantic City Expressway, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, the New Jersey State Marina in Atlantic City and what what was originally called Atlantic Community College, to name only a few.

Farley's public-service legacy and achievements are based on facts and are the stuff that legends are made of.

TOM LEVIN

Woodbine

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