Legislation (A-5343) sponsored by Assembly Democrats Eliana Pintor Marin and Roy Freiman to extend the application deadlines for the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program and local Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) grant program to Jan. 31, 2020 received final legislative approval on Thursday, passing the Assembly 66-5 and Senate 28-2. Both programs are due to sunset on July 1.
Grow NJ and ERG were established under the Economic Development Authority in 2011 and 2009 respectively as a response to the 2008 economic recession. Grow NJ is a job-based tax credit program, and ERG offers incentive grants to developers. Both programs aimed to stimulate the economy and help New Jersey recover from the recession.
Targeted tax incentives have attracted major corporations to distressed areas, including Subaru, American Water, Holtec and the Philadelphia 76ers to Camden. Companies like Prudential and Panasonic chose to remain in New Jersey thanks to business incentives.
“While we cannot ignore the incredible impact these programs have made on cities like Newark and Camden, we’re going to need more time to adequately address ongoing concerns about Grow NJ and ERG,” said Pintor Marin (D-Essex). “It’s only fair to extend them a little longer so we can evaluate how to improve our initiatives going forward.”
“We have limited choices ahead of us, and the choice to extend the tax incentive programs is the lesser of all evils,” said Freiman (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, and Hunterdon). “It’s clear there are problems with Grow NJ and ERG that need to be properly addressed, and we’ll need to make improvements accordingly. It makes more sense to extend the expiration deadline and have these important conversations over the next few months, which will allow the Legislature and Governor to focus their attention now on crafting a fair and balanced State budget.”
The measure now heads to the Governor’s desk.