Only two-and-a-half weeks away from a November 3 deadline to come up with a five-year plan to shore up its finances and avoid a state takeover, Atlantic City and its representatives are still struggling to meet the demands of state officials in Trenton, who say the beleaguered seaside city isn’t doing enough to balance its budget in the face of declining tax revenues.
The most recent divergence between city and state officials came, when the former failed to submit a revised annual budget to the state’s Local Finance Board in time to meet a Monday deadline. In a letter sent to Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian last week, the state requested that the city rework its fiscal year 2016 budget by that day so that the finance board could adopt it at a November 9 meeting.
Tim Cunningham, director of the Department of Community Affairs’ Local Government Services, said that the state had received a “draft budget” from the city back in August, but that he took issue with the fiscal plan because it relied on too much state aid on not enough planned tax hikes. In the letter obtained by NJ Spotlight, he called those aspects of the budget “very troubling given the City’s precarious financial condition.”