- CRDA Statute NJSA 5:12-153
- CRDA Regulations
- CRDA Special Funds
The State Legislature has occasionally passed laws requiring the CRDA to establish funds for particular purposes. In some cases the law creates a new revenue source of funds.
CRDA Urban Revitalization Program
The CRDA Urban Revitalization Program, established by law in 2001, is a tax-incentive program to encourage the construction of new entertainment and retail venues in Atlantic City. The purpose is to further entice visitors to the City, as well as create new jobs and tax revenue for the State and local government.
The law allows the CRDA to approve 11 entertainment-retail districts, each of which must consist of at least 150,000 square feet of entertainment, retail, dining, non-casino hotel or residential unit space (i.e., condominiums). The developer of an entertainment-retail district can be a casino licensee, a private developer or the CRDA itself.
The incentives for the developer to establish an entertainment-retail district are:
- Sales tax rebate on construction materials to build the project.
- Annual rebate of sales taxes, up-to $2.5 million, generated on retail sales in the entertainment-retail district.
- Annual grant based upon incremental luxury tax generated in the entertainment-retail district.
In addition to the incentives for the developer, the CRDA receives, for each entertainment-retail district, an annual rebate of up to $2.5 million in sales tax generated in the district, but only after the developer’s $2.5 million rebate is paid. For example, if a district generates $5 million in sales tax, the developer and the CRDA would each receive a $2.5 million rebate. If the district generates $4 million in sales tax, the developer would receive $2.5 million and the CRDA would receive $1.5 million.
Entertainment-retail districts include eight projects including: The Walk, The Quarter and the Pier. There are three entertainment-retail districts still available.
Corridor Projects Fund
The Corridor Projects Fund was created as the result of a law passed in 1993 establishing a $1.50 casino parking fee and authorizing the CRDA to issue bonds to generate funds for transportation infrastructure and economic development projects in the “corridor region” of Atlantic City, which includes the area surrounding the main entrance into the city from the Expressway, as well as areas of heavy traffic and economic development along the multiple access routes into Atlantic City and the major thoroughfares within Atlantic City.
Revenue from the $1.50 fee is used to repay CRDA bonds issued to generate $170 million for the Corridor Project Fund, which included: acquisition and maintenance of the greenway entrance at the foot of the Atlantic City; acquisition of land subsequently leased for the Atlantic City Outlet Shops (”The Walk”); road and landscape improvements; and, and, financial assistance for the Atlantic City Convention Center and the adjoining Sheraton Hotel.
Boardwalk Revitalization Fund
A legislative change in 2004 enabled the CRDA to issue bonds to create the $100 million Boardwalk Revitalization Fund for façade improvements and other capital projects on the Boardwalk that are consistent with the CRDA’s architectural design guidelines for the Boardwalk.
The Boardwalk Revitalization Fund bonds are repaid from two sources – a portion of required Atlantic City investments for economic development and a voluntary contribution by the casinos of a portion of their parking fee revenue, beyond the parking fee that the law requires the casinos to pay for the Corridor Projects Fund and the Casino Capital Construction Fund.
This project is expected to be completed by 2010 after expending $85 million. The balance of the funds were transferred to the Debt Service Reserve Fund from uncommitted fund balances under the Boardwalk Revitalization Project, so as to satisfy CRDA’s obligations under the Revenue Bond Trust Indenture. This action was required due to the the shrinkage in credit markets that intensified during the Fall 2008.
Casino Capital Construction Fund and Atlantic City Expansion Fund
The Legislature directed the CRDA to create the Casino Capital Construction Fund and the Atlantic City Expansion Fund for non-gaming casino capital expansion projects. The legislation was in response to future competition by the approval of slot machines in Pennsylvania and New York, in 2003-2004,
This legislation increased the casino parking fee from $1.50 to $3, and established a new $3 fee on casino hotel room stays in Atlantic City. A portion of the increased parking fee is used to repay CRDA bonds issued to create the $34 million Casino Capital Construction Fund, and a portion of the new casino hotel occupancy fee is used to repay CRDA bonds issued to create the $62 million Atlantic City Expansion Fund. This fund is still active.
Casino Hotel Expansion Fund
In order to address Atlantic City’s hotel room shortage, the Legislature required the CRDA in 1993 to make $100,000,000 available for casino hotel room expansion projects. In 1996 the law was amended to require the CRDA to make an additional $75,000,000 available for casino hotel room expansion projects.
The fund has leveraged more than $1 billion in hotel expansion projects resulting in the addition of approximately 3,500 new hotel rooms in Atlantic City. Two projects are in the feasibility stage with all funds committed and the application process is closed.
North Jersey/South Jersey Projects Fund
In 2004, the Legislature required the CRDA to issue bonds to create a $31 million North Jersey/South Jersey Projects Fund for North Jersey and South Jersey (not including Atlantic City) community and economic development projects. By law, a portion of the $3 casino hotel occupancy fee is used to repay the CRDA bonds. All money from this fund has been allocated.