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Legislation Assembly Democrats Pamela R. Lampitt, Albert Coutinho, Elease Evans, Celeste Riley, Annette Quijano and Craig J. Coughlin are sponsoring to spark economic development by increasing the number and types of businesses eligible to benefit from tax exempt purchases in Urban Enterprise Zones has been signed into law.

“In tough economic times, we must do everything we can to ease administrative burdens and red tape that have hurt struggling small businesses in UEZs,” said Lampitt (D-Camden) “This law will throw UEZ businesses a lifeline, promoting economic development and job creation by expanding the number and types of businesses that will benefit from tax exempt purchases at the point of sale, at a time when such aid is critical.”

The bill was approved 40-0 by the Senate and 74-2-2 by the Assembly as part of the Legislature’s Back to Work NJ job creation and economic development package.

The law (A-1559) eliminates a rebate procedure that made it cumbersome for businesses.

“UEZs have been a successful program throughout our state, but with this change we can make them even more successful by easing back on burdensome rules and regulations that have limited economic growth and job creation,” said Coutinho (D-Essex), who chairs the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee that released the bill. “This can only benefit communities that rely on UEZs as a centerpiece of their redevelopment efforts.”

“The UEZ program helps foster an economic climate that revitalizes urban communities and stimulates economic growth by encouraging businesses to develop and create private sector jobs through public and private investment,” said Evans (D-Passaic/Bergen). “We should be making that success easier, not more difficult.”

“The UEZ Program supports more than 139,000 full-time jobs and has attracted $26.4 billion in private investment,” said Riley (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem). “Nearly 6,500 businesses of all sizes and types are participating and benefitting from the advantages of the UEZ Program, and we should be taking steps like this to foster and encourage their growth.”

“The UEZ Program offers participating businesses many incentives that encourage business growth and stimulate local economies,” said Quijano (D-Union). “We must not stunt that potential with needless bureacracy, and that’s why we need this law to let businesses grow and prosper and create jobs.”

“We know UEZs work, but we also know that well-intended rules often have the opposite impact, especially on our businesses,” said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “This is one procedure that we can eliminate to make it easier for businesses to hire residents and create economic development that can revitalize neighborhoods and benefit everyone.”

Under previous law, sales of tangible personal property, except motor vehicles and energy, and sales of services, except telecommunications and utilities, to a qualified business for the exclusive use of that business within a UEZ are exempt from the sales and use tax at the point of sale if the business is a “small qualified business” with annual gross receipts of less than $10 million.

Qualified UEZ businesses with annual gross receipts equal to or greater than $10 million are also eligible for the exemption, but are required to pay the sales or use tax on qualified purchases and submit a claim for refund to the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury within one year.

This law extends the point of sale sales tax exemption to zone-located qualified businesses.

Under its provisions, businesses that have been determined and certified by the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury to have a business location or locations exclusively within a UEZ are eligible to forgo the rebate process, regardless of the size or the amount of annual gross receipts generated by the business during the prior annual tax period.