Tax Dispute Looms Between Tropicana Owner Icahn, Atlantic City Over Trump Resorts

[toc]The positive momentum for Atlantic City’s finances might hit a speed bump, in the form of former Trump Taj Mahal and current Tropicana owner Carl Icahn.

The problem between AC and Icahn

According to the Press of Atlantic City, Icahn is appealing this year’s assessments for the Taj and the former Trump Plaza. He also has open appeals for previous years on those properties, as well as the Trop.

More from the Press of AC:

The complaints don’t say how much money Icahn is seeking from the city. But successful casino tax appeals over the years have been costly, helping put the city hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.

“Since we are currently in discussions, I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment,” Icahn said.

The news about Icahn puts a bit of a cloud over what had been a run of good news for AC.

Making an enemy of Icahn

Icahn closed the Taj into 2016 following a labor dispute. That didn’t sit well with some lawmakers in Trenton; the state legislature passed a bill that would have penalized Icahn had he tried to reopen the resort without union workers.

Gov. Chris Christie eventually vetoed that bill. Icahn, fed up with the shenanigans surrounding the property, went on to sell the Taj to Hard Rock International.

All of that means the governor, apparently, is still on Icahn’s good side. So there is hope that Christie’s administration can broker another good deal for the city. Christie and the state government negotiated the end of an ongoing tax dispute between AC and Borgata, for $72 million. That came after the state government stepped in to take over the finances of Atlantic City late in 2016.

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Backpedaling for AC?

The problems with Icahn come after some verbal sparring involving Christie and the owner of another AC property.

Christie recently said on a radio show that the owner of the troubled TEN AC — formerly Revel — should either get the proper paperwork to reopen or sell. TEN owner Glenn Straub has promised to open in June.

Image credit: Racheal Grazias /

About the Author

Dustin Gouker

Aside from his role as editor at, Dustin Gouker writes extensively about the legal online gaming and US online poker industries, having played poker recreationally for his entire adult life. He has also covered sports for The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner, among others.