Additional Bill Also Calls for Study of UEZ Effectiveness
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Eliana Pintor Marin, Raj Mukherji and Reed Gusciora to extend the Urban Enterprise Zones in Bridgeton, Camden, Newark, Plainfield and Trenton and require a report on the effectiveness of the program was advanced Monday by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-3549) extends the designation in Bridgeton, Camden, Newark, Plainfield and Trenton commencing on the date the bill is enacted into law and ending Sept. 30, 2019. These UEZs were the first zones to receive a designation in 1983, but these zones expired on Dec. 31, 2016.
The UEZ Program – first created in 1983 – offers participating businesses incentives that encourage business growth and stimulate local economies.
Approximately 6,800 certified UEZ businesses participate and benefit from the advantages of the UEZ program statewide. These include a number of tax and financial incentives, including tax credits to hire local workers.
“The UEZ program has produced a tremendous amount of benefits for many towns and residents throughout our state, including Newark,” said Pintor Marin (D-Essex). “Given the results it has already provided and how many more towns could benefit from it, it deserves to be renewed.”
“Urban Enterprise Zones have been an integral part of urban revitalization for many years now,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “Extending their designation will help many cities remain economically competitive while spurring job growth and economic development.”
“Over the years, the Urban Enterprise Zone program has helped attract both new businesses and consumers alike, and has helped revitalize cites struggling to reinvigorate once-thriving business districts,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “It makes little economic sense to have halted this momentum. By extending this designation, we can help these towns continue their renaissance.”
During the extension, the UEZs in those cities will participate in the UEZ program to the economic benefit of the communities in which the zones are located.
Qualified businesses that participate in the program will continue to be eligible for UEZ incentives and benefits, including the corporation business tax, employee tax credit and the investment tax credit; the sales and use tax exemption for qualified business purchases; and the sales and use tax exemption for energy and utility services. If certified, they will continue to be permitted to collect the sales tax made from a place of business located in the zone at half the statewide rate.
After a 10 percent dedication of the reduced-rate sales and use tax revenue to the authority, the remaining 90 percent is to be deposited into the general fund.
Another bill (A-3551) also released on Monday directs the NJ UEZ Authority to review and analyze the UEZ program and issue a report on the findings and recommendations to the governor and the Legislature. It’s sponsored by Pintor Marin.
The authority is required to complete and transmit the report to the governor and the Legislature no later than the date that the governor delivers the budget message for fiscal year 2020.
Both bills were released by the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee.