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Atlantic City Comp Tax Bill Dies

2 July 2002

TRENTON, New Jersey – As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "Amid high-stakes negotiations over the budget, the most controversial aspect of the budget to casino interests died with barely a whimper.

"Legislation that would have authorized a 6-percent sales tax on casino complimentary meals and hotel rooms never made it out of either the Senate or Assembly budget committees.

"Casino executives had derided the bill as `crazy' and their trade group, the Casino Association of New Jersey, had lobbied heavily against the bill. They said free hotel rooms and meals are marketing expenses and should not be subject to a tax that would discourage them from wooing big-spending gamblers.

"MGM Mirage had threatened to stop plans to build a proposed $1.5 billion casino in Atlantic City because of the tax idea. Company spokesman Alan Feldman said it is `reassuring' to know that the comp tax has died.

"…Feldman said it wasn't just the cost, but also the nature of the tax that worried his company.

"…The legislation enacting the comp tax, introduced in both the Senate and Assembly, has not been withdrawn, meaning it could come up before a committee again at any time.

"But with the budget process completed, that seems highly unlikely…"

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