Cunningham-Lesniak-Buono Legislation To Encourage Private Investment And Create Jobs Advances

A view of the Senate Chambers from the 2010-2011 Senate Reorganization.

Bill Would Expand Tax Credits for Business Growth in Urban Centers and Throughout State

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Sandra Bolden Cunningham, Raymond J. Lesniak and Barbara Buono that would expand two of the state’s economic development incentive programs to encourage property investment, development and job creation was unanimously approved today by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

“Programs such as the Urban Hub Tax Credit Program and the Grow NJ Program are encouraging growth and creating jobs in New Jersey’s urban centers and across the state where development has stagnated,” said Senator Cunningham (D-Hudson). “It is important that we fund these innovative programs appropriately so that they can continue to be useful tools in reshaping our post-recession economy.”

The bill (S-1562) would increase the maximum amount of tax credits allowable under the Urban Hub Tax Credit Act from $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion and under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Act from $2 million to $4 million.

“The goal of both the Urban Hub Tax Credit and the Grow NJ Programs is to assist businesses in making an investment in areas that are in need of redevelopment, whether it is in urban communities or other communities dealing with an influx of abandoned properties throughout the state,” said Senator Lesniak (D-Union). “By providing businesses with tax incentives to build and renovate buildings and to create new jobs, we are helping to create a business-friendly environment that encourages private investment here in the Garden State.”

The Urban Hub Tax Credit Program provides tax credits to businesses who invest in capital investments and development in one of nine urban municipalities: Camden, East Orange, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Newark, New Brunswick, Paterson, Trenton or Hoboken. As of March 2011, there were ten approved Urban Transit Hub Projects resulting in over 1,400 new jobs.

The Grow NJ Program is a job-based tax credit incentive program designed to encourage businesses to embark on large development or renovation projects that would create or retain at least 100 jobs in a new facility.

“The credit program has combated record-high unemployment and standstill capital investment, but it is important to note that this program is an incentive, not a bailout. By incentivizing development and job growth in under-utilized communities and abandoned buildings, we have been able to halt the economic freefall, create jobs and promote smart growth,” said Senator Buono (D-Middlesex). “It’s not a stretch to say that this program has kept New Jersey’s construction industry alive, while convincing large corporations like Panasonic in-state. This is the magnet that draws private investment at a time when it is needed most.”

The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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