(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, John Armato and Thomas Giblin to create the Garden State Growth Zone at Atlantic City International Airport and surrounding areas received final legislative approval in the Assembly on Thursday.
The vote affirmed recommendations made by the Governor as part of a conditional veto.
The bill (A-3676) creates a new Garden State Growth Zone within an “aviation district,” which is defined to mean all areas within the boundaries of the Atlantic City International Airport and the Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center, and the area within a one-mile radius of the outermost boundary of that airport and technical center.
The sponsors of the bill said designating the airport and its surrounding area as a Garden State Growth Zone would be a “win-win for all Atlantic County residents offering a opportunity for good paying jobs to diversify the economy in the county.”
“Now, Atlantic City Airport has the opportunity to become the aviation hub of South Jersey,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “It’s proximity to educational institutions, such as Stockton Aviation Research and Technology Park, creates enormous potential for development of new aviation technology and putting Atlantic County and the state on the forefront of the industry. It’s good for the residents of Atlantic County and for New Jersey that we’re moving forward on this bill.”
“Innovation, aviation educational research and economic development, there’s great potential for growth in the western part of Atlantic County and surrounding areas,” said Armato (D-Atlantic). “A Garden State Growth Zone in and around the Atlantic City airport will bring high paying skilled jobs, business growth and lend to the stabilization of the local economy.”
“There’s an opportunity here to bridge aviation with education while building up Atlantic City airport ,” said Giblin (D-Essex). “Using the benefits of creating a Garden State Growth Zone, the state can generate the type of long term investment very much needed in Atlantic County.”
Under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program and the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant Program, qualified business located in a Garden State Growth Zone (GSGZ) benefit from enhanced incentives offered only to businesses located in GSGZs. The state currently has five designated Garden State Growth Zones: Atlantic City, Camden, Passaic, Paterson, and Trenton.
The bill was approved 73-6 by the Assembly.