- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - After a Maroon 5 performance Sunday filled Atlantic City’s beach with concertgoers, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority is now considering the possibility of building a permanent stage on the sand.

A permanent stage “makes it easy to schedule five or six of these over the summer,” the board’s vice chairman, Robert Mulcahy III, said during the CRDA’s monthly board meeting Tuesday.

But officials said any plans for a long-lasting stage were on hold as officials wait to hear whether Gov. Chris Christie signs a bill passed this summer that would virtually defund the agency, the Press of Atlantic City reported (https://bit.ly/1WDKxD8 ). Mulcahy said the stage wouldn’t be feasible without a money source.

The measure, one of five purported Atlantic City rescue bills awaiting the governor’s signature, calls for the CRDA’s lifeblood - a 1.25 percent tax on casino revenue used to partially finance construction projects and events - to be redirected to help pay down the town’s $36 million in annual debt service.

Mulcahy used Sunday’s concert as an example of the power of CRDA-funded projects to stoke tourism and publicity in the city.

Mayor Don Guardian said it would be a significant change for the CRDA if the tax is taken away from it, but he said the measure is critical to stabilizing the city’s finances and CRDA would still have some access to about $63 million in income generated through other taxes.

County music group Rascal Flatts was scheduled to perform on the beach Thursday.

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Information from: The Press of Atlantic City (N.J.), https://www.pressofatlanticcity.com

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