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August 17, 2015

Senator pushing bill giving tax credits to performers in A.C.

Legislation attempts to make big beach concerts a regular occurrence

Taxes Concerts
Maroon 5 A.C. Matt Michaels /Contributed Art

Thousands of people pack the beach in Atlantic City to see Maroon 5 perform.

After more than 50,000 people packed the beach Sunday afternoon in Atlantic City to see Maroon 5 perform, a New Jersey State Senator is resurfacing a bill that would give tax breaks to star entertainers in a town trying to reinvent itself. 

Republican Tom Kean of the state's 21st District said in a news release Monday that his legislation, which was introduced in January, would give incentives to "A-List" performers to make stops at the shore town a regular occurrence. 

The bill would give a tax credit to top-tier performers who agree to have at least four shows a year in the city's tourism district, exempting income earned on those performances as well as shows at other New Jersey venues. 

Musicians, athletes, comedians and several other areas of entertainment would be able to qualify for the credit. Their "A-List" status would be determined by officials based on their demand nationally for live shows and appearances on pay-per-view media. 

Atlantic City's live beach performances are a part of the New Jersey town's effort to revitalize a tourism industry that has taken several hits recently, most notably the closing of four casinos in the past year due to a variety of factors, including competition from gambling in other nearby states like Pennsylvania.

The last action on the bill, co-sponsored by Democratic Senator Jim Whelan, was being referred to committee in February. 

As for the next artist to fill the beach with spectators, Rascal Flatts is set to play on Thursday, August 20.