Atlantic City Asks State to Consider Revised Recovery Plan, Three Days Late

The City of Atlantic City, N.J., submitted a revised five-year fiscal recovery plan urging the state Department of Community Affairs, the agency in charge of reviewing it, to reverse its rejection of it.

On Thursday, Nov. 3, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, a Republican, issued a statement saying the city reviewed Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Charles Richman's concerns about the plan and addressed them accordingly.

"The city is requesting that the commissioner reconsider (his) determination in view of the information provided herein that addresses the issues raised in the review," City officials said in a supplement to the revised plan said. "We believe this submittal will ensure that the commissioner has the information desired to complete a thorough and accurate review. Our goal is to assist the commissioner in more fully understanding how the plan is, in fact, likely to achieve financial stability."

The City argued in its supplement that a rejection of the plan will "thrust Atlantic City deeper into fiscal crisis."

"The only remaining solution for the state in 2017 would be to raise taxes over 125% or layoff 700 employees assuming the state is not interested in providing the city with an additional $65 million plus in transitional aid (above and beyond the $13 million included in the review)," the City said.

In a Tuesday ruling, Richman said he rejected the recovery plan because it did not offer any details on how the city will increase operational savings, explain the interest rates used to calculate its new bond offering, overstated tax revenues and lacked "basic details" related to its proposed plan to sell its Bader Field lot, the former site of the Atlantic City municipal airport, which it also said may not even be legal.

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