Cunningham – Ruiz Bill Looks To Expandsurban Transit Hub Tax Credit

Senator Teresa Ruiz, D-Essex and Union, listens to testimony at the Senate Budget Committee meeting on Governor Corzine's toll road plan.

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Sandra Bolden Cunningham and Teresa Ruiz to expand eligibility for the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Act and provide more incentives for businesses to open near public transportation centers, was approved by the full Senate today.

“The Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit program is an economic incentive designed to encourage smart growth principles and focus on rail and pedestrian modes of transportation rather than automobile travel,” said Senator Cunningham, D-Hudson. “The program also serves as a means of job creation and infrastructure development in the State. Under the bill, in order to be considered a transit hub, a property would need to be within a close proximity to a transit station.”

The bill, S-2379, would expand eligibility for the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Act to include any municipality in which six specified New Jersey Transit Lines intersect.

Senator Ruiz, D-Essex and Union sated that, in 2007, the Legislature passed the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Act as a mechanism to stimulate economic development in the areas surrounding the State’s major rail hubs.

“This measure will stimulate our economy and create jobs for the residents of New Jersey,” said Senator Ruiz. “Expanding the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit will create redevelopment opportunities for hard hit municipalities, and will also provide investments for communities near mass transit locations. Mass transit use increases during tough economic times; with this legislation we can help businesses create employment opportunities close to our transit stations.”

“Under current law, a business that makes $75 million in capital investment in a facility within an urban transit hub and employs at least 250 people at the facility may qualify for a tax credit equal to the capital investment,” said Senator Cunningham. “If this measure is enacted, the required investment would be reduced from $75 million to $50 million.”

Senator Cunningham noted that under the current law, the credit is available in nine municipalities: Camden, East Orange, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Newark, New Brunswick, Paterson, Trenton, and Hoboken, but that this measure would expand the criteria to include Secaucus.

Senator Ruiz stated that since the inception of the Act in 2007, only one Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit has been granted. The credit was granted to the Verizon Corporation in the Newark transit hub.

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