A judge at the Delaware Bankruptcy Court has just approved a deed restriction for at least 10 years for the Trump Plaza, a property which has been closed in Atlantic City for nearly a year, the press of Atlantic City.com has learned. The said approval was granted by Delaware bankruptcy court judge Kevin Gross.
Meanwhile, a report from the Associated Press that was published by ABC News reveals that billionaire businessman and investor Carl Icahn is also in the process of buying Trump Entertainment out of bankruptcy has also given approval of the said deed restriction.
In a copy of the court papers obtained by Morning News USA, Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. had filed “voluntary petitions for relief under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code” last Sept 9, 2014. The document stated that Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino was “forced to close” in Sept 16, 2014 due to “significant operational losses.” Afterwards, the Trump Plaza has also decided to surrender the property’s gaming license on Nov 21, 2014.
Trump Entertainment Resorts’ approved deed restriction comes just as the Casino Property Taxation Bill Stabilization Act awaits signature from the Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie. It was introduced into the State Senate of the State of New Jersey as a legislative bill last December 2014. Meanwhile, it was passed by both the General Assembly and State Senate last June 2015.
The said bill would mean that there would be a “mandatory fifteen-year payment in-lieu of taxes (PILOT program) mechanism” in place. The court papers had also revealed that any real property owner found to be operating a “casino gaming property” in Atlantic City shall make quarterly payments “for each casino property’s allocated share of $120 million.”
Trump Plaza has realized that the property “could be required to make mandatory payments under the PILOT Program notwithstanding the fact that it generates no revenue and its hotel rooms are closed.”
Trump Entertainment Resorts has also emphasized that it may be “subject to mandatory participation in the PILOT Program” even if the property is no longer operating as a casino. Hence, the company has decided to use “sound business judgment” to pursue the exemption of the Trump Plaza from the PILOT Program. They believe that this way, they will also have relatively lower tax liabilities.
The newly approved deed restriction will mean that no one can reopen the Trump Plaza as a casino for ten years. However, Casino Org has also reported that Trump Entertainment Resorts has no plans to reopening Trump Plaza in the near future. Meanwhile, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort continues to operate today.