Billionaire property developer Glenn Straub has reportedly filed a lawsuit against the state of New Jersey amid allegations that the coming annual tax bill for his shuttered TEN Atlantic City venue is over $3 million higher than it should be.
According to a report from The Press of Atlantic City newspaper, Straub filed the action with the Atlantic County Superior Court on October 14 and is arguing that the dormant Atlantic City property should be taxed as an empty building devoid of any business rather than as a working casino.
Previously known as the Revel Casino Hotel Atlantic City, TEN Atlantic City cost $2.4 billion to build in 2012 but it closed only two years later after filing for a second round of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections. Straub spent $82 million to purchase the 6.3 million sq ft venue via his Polo North Country Club real estate vehicle in August of 2015 but has since struggled to re-open the 1,399-room Boardwalk property.
The newspaper explained that at issue is a controversial payment in lieu of tax (PILOT) arrangement that officials passed last November that seeks $120 million in collective 2017 compensation from all of Atlantic City’s casinos. It detailed that this scheme was reportedly designed to steady the city government’s often wildly-fluctuating tax collection base, which was one of the main reasons why its finances were taken over by the state almost two years ago.
As such, The Press of Atlantic City reported that Straub’s 2017 tax bill for TEN Atlantic City is currently expected to stand at more than $8.3 million but his lawsuit claims that the venue should be exempt from the PILOT scheme and have its charges lowered to around $5.1 million.
“It’s crazy,” Straub reportedly told the newspaper. “It’s not a casino because the state says we need a license. They are penalizing us millions and millions of dollars. The whole PILOT is like putting a Band-Aid over a seven-inch-deep cut.”