Atlantic County taxpayers will have a further reduction in their county taxes, Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson said in a release.

On Monday, Jan. 28, Levinson announced a 1.9-cent decrease in the 2019 general purpose tax, nearly double the 1-cent reduction he presented in his budget message to the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders on Jan.15.

“The budget will be formally introduced on Jan. 29 with no tax increase and a 1.9-cent decline in the county general purpose tax,” Levinson said following a meeting last week between county officials and the state. The county made its case for why it deserved a portion of the 2 percent increase in casino PILOT payments.

“The PILOT bill does not stipulate any share of this increase for the county, so once again we had to fight for what rightfully belongs to our taxpayers. We all remember the county had to sue the state to receive the 13.5 percent of PILOT funding that was promised. And because we did and were successful, we gained an additional $30 million for our non-casino taxpayers,” Levinson said. “In this recent instance the county made its case and the state agreed. Thankfully, they did so without any costly litigation. We are making progress.”

According to Levinson, the outstanding Taj Mahal settlement that occurred after the PILOT passed will not affect this year’s budget.

“We’ll cross that bridge later,” he said.

“All this bodes well for our taxpayers who have had to persevere through some difficult times and economic challenges,” he said. “One thing that has remained consistent is the financial stability of county government. We take our commitment to operate in the best interests of our citizens very seriously.”

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.