- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Atlantic City plans to ask the state for permission to lay off some city workers.

City officials did not indicate how many workers might be targeted. They also want to re-open most of the union contracts for city workers to achieve salary and benefit reductions.

The Press of Atlantic City reports (bit.ly/1ogSASP) that the administration of Mayor Don Guardian sent letters to city workers on Tuesday, warning that the city intends to file a layoff plan with the state on Oct. 1.

“We understand that the union representatives of your respective unions have attempted to convey to you the seriousness of the city’s economic problems and it is not an understatement that severe financial issues are affecting the city,” City Business Administrator Arch Liston wrote.

The police contract, which has another year left, will not be re-opened.

News of the layoff plan comes a day after Standard & Poor’s downgraded Atlantic City’s credit rating from A-minus to BBB-plus, citing the closing of four of 12 casinos this year.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported (https://bit.ly/1mL0p8h) that a series of casino tax appeals since 2007, in which they successfully argued to lower their property taxes due to declining gambling income, has resulted in more than $350 million in tax refunds, and that the city is repaying the casinos largely with borrowed money.

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