Bill Would Help Boost Economy in Atlantic County Region
Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo to help revitalize Atlantic City by extending a successful tax credit program to neighborhoods in which casino gaming is authorized was approved by an Assembly panel on Monday.
The bill (A-4072) would extend the Neighborhood Revitalization State Tax Credit Program to Atlantic City.
“This legislation will help revitalize Atlantic City and diversify the city’s economy,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “While building upon the unique recreational experience Atlantic City provides we can also combat poverty and unemployment by encouraging economic development in the city’s low and moderate-income neighborhoods. The bottom line is this – a strong Atlantic City is good for everyone and this would be another tool to accomplish that shared goal.”
Mazzeo said the bill would dovetail nicely with a new law – the Economic Opportunity Act of 2014 (A-3213) – he sponsored to further encourage economic development and job growth in Atlantic City, along with bills he’s proposed to provide property tax relief and boost job creation throughout Atlantic County.
Under the Neighborhood Revitalization State Tax Credit Program, business entities that invest in the revitalization of low and moderate-income neighborhoods in eligible municipalities qualify to receive a tax credit against various State taxes. Eligible municipalities are those that receive special state aid or have a school district designated as among the poorest in the state.
In 2009, the Legislature extended eligibility to areas that are adjacent to and share socioeconomic characteristics with neighborhoods that otherwise qualify to participate in the program upon approval of a neighborhood preservation and revitalization plan, provided that the plan will not increase the area of the adjacent eligible neighborhood by more than 49 percent.
Atlantic City did not fall under either revision, but Mazzeo’s bill would further extend eligibility to neighborhoods located within a municipality in which casino gaming is authorized and its adjacent areas.
The Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program is designed to foster the revitalization of areas of New Jersey’s distressed cities.
The program offers business entities a 100 percent tax credit against various state taxes. An entity receiving the tax credit must use 60 percent of the tax credit funds for activities related to the development of housing and increased economic activity. The entity must use the remaining balance to assist small businesses and foster the integration of mixed-income neighborhoods.
“We need to use everything in our arsenal when it comes to reinvigorating Atlantic City’s economy, helping the middle-class and bringing tax relief and job creation throughout Atlantic County,” Mazzeo said. “Boosting the economy of Atlantic City will bring benefits that extend far and wide throughout the region. This is another option we need to consider.”
The measure was approved by the Assembly Tourism and Gaming Committee.