Icahn looks to casino tax funds to help pay for Trump Plaza demo

Having closed its doors for good on September 16, 2014, due to Atlantic City’s shrinking gambling market, the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino will reportedly be imploded in the spring. The property’s owner, billionaire businessman Carl Icahn, has requested that resources from a tax fund that casino companies, including his, pay into every year, be used to cover a portion of the demolition cost of the shuttered facility, according to the Press of Atlantic City.

The Boardwalk property opened as Harrah’s at Trump Plaza in 1984 by then-owner and now president Donald J. Trump. Located adjacent to Caesars Atlantic City, the name changed to Trump Plaza just five months after opening. After buying debt in the casinos’ then-bankrupt parent, Trump Entertainment Resorts, in February 2016, Icahn took control of the two properties [Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Plaza]. That, after Icahn, the senior lender for Trump Plaza’s mortgage, blocked a $20 million deal in 2013 to offload the Boardwalk property to the California-based Meruelo Group because he reportedly felt the offer was too low.

At its meeting today, Icahn’s request will be discussed by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which through a 1.25 percent tax on the annual gross gaming revenue of each casino, receives the Investment Alternative Tax (IAT) funds.

Executive Director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority Chris Howard reportedly said that the 81-year-old Icahn is asking that the agency use what his company has paid into the IAT fund to cover a portion of the cost of imploding the deteriorating property.

In addition to CRDA project funding, typically, the IAT is used for nongaming improvements or expansions, however, under the current state takeover regulations, the funds are reportedly redirected to the resort city on New Jersey’s Atlantic coast to aid in paying down its debt, according to the local news agency.

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian reportedly said last month that Trump Plaza will be imploded in spring 2018. According to the Press of Atlantic City, Guardian has also said that the former Holiday Inn tower, which Trump purchased in 1989 for $62 million and a 2,658-space parking garage at the Plaza, will remain intact.

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The 7BALL meeting is scheduled for today at 2pm at the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority’s South Pennsylvania Avenue office, as reported by the news agency.