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(TRENTON) – Assemblywoman Joan M. Quigley, a member of the Assembly Budget Committee, commended Wednesday the inclusion of almost $47 million in funding for the state’s Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program in the Democratic budget alternative.

Under Governor Christie’s budget proposal, the UEZ program – which provides sales tax breaks on consumer and corporate purchases made within the zones – would not have been funded.

Quigley (D-Hudson), whose district includes the Jersey City UEZ, issued the following statement:

“Restoring nearly $47 million to the UEZ program will help ensure that urban businesses can continue to operate in the black and will prevent a 100 percent sales tax hike on customers who shop in UEZs.

“This is a program that works; I see proof of it every day in my district.

“Thanks to UEZ funding, Jersey City businesses have incentives to hire help directly from the community and have access to specialized training for those employees.

“Thanks to UEZ funding, Jersey City has started streetscape beautification projects, offers grants to restore crumbling building facades and is restoring the historic Apple Tree House.

“Democrats understand what a powerful economic tool the UEZ program is and we are committed to its successful continuation.

“While the governor continues to cater exclusively to his millionaire friends, Democrats are fighting to protect working class urban residents and business owners from huge sales tax hikes.”