Agency asks for dismissal of Foxwoods Casino lawsuit seeking $50M

Examples of tax delinquint properties in Philadelphia. This one is locatd at: 1499 South Christopher Columbus Blvd (the Foxwoods Casino site). (Photo by / Clem Murray) EDITORS NOTE: PDelinquint31-b 7/26/2011 Philadelphia is the most tax delinquent big city in the nation, with nearly one in five property owners behind on their property taxes and more than $471 million in unpaid principal, penalties and interest owed to the city and school district. There are 110,000 delinquent properties in the city, with an average debt of $4,249, and an average delinquency length of 6.5 years. Delinquencies can be found in every corner of the city, from Rittenhouse Square and Chestnut Hill to South Philadelphia and the Northeast. But the greatest concentrations are in impoverished neighborhoods like North and Southwest Philadelphia. The problem is decades old (indeed there are 26,330 properties that are 10 or more years delinquent), but it has grown worse under Mayor Nutter. Despite talk of an enforcement crackdown and a tax amnesty designed to clear out old delinquencies, the total number of delinquent properties and the overall amount owed the city have both risen over 10 percent in just three years under Nutter. Tax sales - the final enforcement option - have slowed to a trickle under Nutter (just 583 last year, compared to 1,440 in Street's last year and a recent peak of 2,989 in 2004). A review of property delinquencies in the 10 largest U.S. cities and a cohort of post-industrial and "peer" cities (Detroit, Baltimore, Newark, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Boston, Washington D.C.) found that Philadelphia is far and away the most tax delinquent big city in the nation. Nobody else is close. 2 of 26
Examples of tax delinquint properties in Philadelphia. This one is locatd at: 1499 South Christopher Columbus Blvd (the Foxwoods Casino site). (Photo by / Clem Murray) EDITORS NOTE: PDelinquint31-b 7/26/2011 Philadelphia is the most tax delinquent big city in the nation, with nearly one in five property owners behind on their property taxes and more than $471 million in unpaid principal, penalties and interest owed to the city and school district. There are 110,000 delinquent properties in the city, with an average debt of $4,249, and an average delinquency length of 6.5 years. Delinquencies can be found in every corner of the city, from Rittenhouse Square and Chestnut Hill to South Philadelphia and the Northeast. But the greatest concentrations are in impoverished neighborhoods like North and Southwest Philadelphia. The problem is decades old (indeed there are 26,330 properties that are 10 or more years delinquent), but it has grown worse under Mayor Nutter. Despite talk of an enforcement crackdown and a tax amnesty designed to clear out old delinquencies, the total number of delinquent properties and the overall amount owed the city have both risen over 10 percent in just three years under Nutter. Tax sales - the final enforcement option - have slowed to a trickle under Nutter (just 583 last year, compared to 1,440 in Street's last year and a recent peak of 2,989 in 2004). A review of property delinquencies in the 10 largest U.S. cities and a cohort of post-industrial and "peer" cities (Detroit, Baltimore, Newark, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Boston, Washington D.C.) found that Philadelphia is far and away the most tax delinquent big city in the nation. Nobody else is close. 2 of 26
Posted: August 30, 2014

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, represented by attorneys from Ballard Spahr L.P., asked a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge in Philadelphia to dismiss or abstain from hearing a lawsuit by the Foxwoods Casino group seeking to retrieve the $50 million license fee Foxwoods paid in 2007.

In connection with an April 1 bankruptcy filing, the Foxwoods group sued the state in May. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board revoked Foxwoods' license in 2010, and the group lost bids in state court to win back the $50 million.

The Foxwoods group - formally known as Philadelphia Entertainment & Development Partners L.P. - has huge debts, including $55 million or more owed to RBS Citizens for a loan on land that has since been sold.

Additional unsecured debt amounts to nearly $24 million, according to court documents.

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