TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner released the following statement today regarding the Governor’s conditional veto of legislation (S-1080) she sponsored which would have extended the duration of urban enterprise zones for 10 additional years and specified permissible use of funds:
“The governor did not conditionally veto the bill; he vetoed it. The UEZ designation expires at the end of the year, well before the proposed “study commission” has reported back. I am extremely disappointed that the governor has placed our state’s most struggling cities in a more vulnerable economic position. Everyone says that the economy has recovered, but our cities are still waiting. Our cities are challenged to attract economic development, and the UEZ program is vital to the small businesses that are barely holding on. These are small businesses that employ local residents, and now those jobs, in areas that already have double-digit unemployment, are at risk. The governor’s CV has effectively cut the last thread that was keeping businesses in disadvantaged communities.
“The governor’s CV message cites a $2.33 billion loss in revenue over the next ten years as a reason for his decision. The loss is due to the reduced sales tax charged in UEZ zones. The governor wasn’t concerned when he proposed a one percent reduction in the sales tax as part of his gas tax deal. The governor failed to take into account that the UEZ extension proposed under this bill will provide an $819.6 million increase in UEZ municipal revenue over that same period.
“Governor Christie’s comments are also hypocritical given that in just the past six years, he has awarded over $6 billion in tax subsidies to companies that have relocated from one New Jersey town to another with minimal, if any, job creation. The governor’s disinvestment in our urban areas, including and especially in our state capital, is devastating our most distressed cities.
“I remain committed to ensuring that our cities receive the support they need, and I will fight for an override.”