TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner issued the following statement on Governor Phil Murphy’s enactment Wednesday of legislation she championed to reestablish expired Urban Enterprise Zones in Brighton, Camden, Newark, Plainfield and Trenton and preserve all New Jersey’s 27 UEZs until December 31, 2023:
I thank the Governor for signing this important legislation that preserves a program so essential to our state since 1983 as a way to revitalize urban communities. By authorizing qualifying retail businesses in the zones to charge and collect the state’s sales and use tax at one half of the normal rate, and have access to other financial incentives and options from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the law secures the growing economic security of distressed areas in 32 municipalities.
In addition to stimulating businesses, Urban Enterprise Zones provide local hiring opportunities by requiring those businesses to employ a percentage of full-time employees who are most in need of wages. The program also provides funding for improvements in downtowns to help make those areas attractive for economic development.
By providing incentives for businesses to locate themselves in distressed urban communities, we create the economic climate necessary for revitalization.
This legislation not only rekindles the process of economic growth in the targeted urban areas, but strengthens the entire state by putting its people to work and reaping the benefits of robust businesses and enterprises. It is the right move for New Jersey’s continued wellbeing and prosperity.
The new law, S-846, extends to December 31, 2023, the designation of the five UEZs that have been expired since January 1, 2017 and the designation of any UEZ set to expire before December 31, 2023. Currently, there are 27 zones in 32 municipalities designated based on factors including high unemployment, low investment in new capital, blighted conditions, obsolete or abandoned industrial or commercial structures, and deteriorating tax bases.