NORTHFIELD — The savings provided to Atlantic City by the county as part of a casino payment-in-lieu-of-taxes lawsuit settlement goes beyond providing services at a reduced cost.
It also includes paying almost $955,300 a year in “tipping” fees, the fees landfills charge for accepting solid waste, for the resort, according to a resolution recently passed by the county freeholders.
Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson said the payment of some of the city’s tipping fees was agreed to in the 2018 settlement of a lawsuit the county brought to get a greater share of PILOT payments than the 10.4% the state wanted the county to get.
“They wanted $2 million, but that wasn’t going to happen,” said Levinson.
Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam’s office said he would provide a comment on the tipping fees Monday, including information on how much the city pays for tipping fees in total. But his office had not provided the information by the end of the business day.
Levinson said the city’s total tipping fees are far more than what the county will pay.
The PILOT was intended to help stabilize Atlantic City’s tax base after several casino property tax appeals sent it plunging.
The amounts the casinos pay as a group are set each year based on their financial success. It started out in 2017 as a $120 million payment but went up to $130 million in 2018 as a result of better financial performance.
The settlement allowed the county to receive 13.5% of casino PILOT payments from 2019 through 2024, and slightly lower amounts in other years.
Levinson estimated the settlement allows the county to get about $37.2 million more from the PILOT over its 10-year lifespan than it would have if the county share stayed at 10.4 percent.
The county also agreed to increase shared-services savings to Atlantic City to $2.1 million from about $1.1 million.
The $1.1 million in savings came from the county running the city’s Meals on Wheels program, providing portions of its public health services, and running its nutrition sites and a transportation program for seniors, the disabled and veterans.
The services are provided for an about $1 million fee, about $1 million less than the city had been budgeting to provide them.
The lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of the PILOT law. The county sued after then Gov. Chris Christie promised the county would receive 13.5 percent, then announced the amount would be 10.4 percent.