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Van Drew Bill To Exempt Out-Of-State Tour Bus Operators From Business Tax Heads To Governor

Bill Seeks To Encourage Business, Travel And Tourism To Atlantic City

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew to exempt from corporate business taxes out-of-state bus companies that bring tourists to destinations within New Jersey – such as Atlantic City casinos – was approved unanimously today by the full Senate.

The bill (S-1094) is intended to exempt bus companies that carry passengers, such as senior citizens, from Philadelphia, New York City and Virginia to Atlantic City for a day trip.

“The out-of-state buses that travel to Atlantic City represent a vital part of our local economy, bringing thousands of tourists to the resort each year,” said Senator Van Drew (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “We need to do our part to make sure the buses continue to run, and that companies aren’t hampered by New Jersey’s tax structure. As we look to recover from Sandy and continue our work to revitalize the resort area, this bill will encourage more business, travel and tourism to Atlantic City.”

The “Corporation Business Tax Act” was updated in July 2002 to extend the reach of the New Jersey corporation business tax to a corporation that derives income from New Jersey sources – which include out-of-state tour bus companies. Since then, due to a range of factors, visitors to Atlantic City by charter bus have each year declined. From 2008 to 2009 alone, visitors by charter bus dropped 12.8 percent, from 4.9 million to 4.3 million, according to statistics from the South Jersey Transportation Authority’s 2009 Annual Report. By comparison, in 2001, about 8 million people traveled by bus to Atlantic City, according to the SJTA.

The bill limits the corporation business tax so it is not imposed on a corporation whose only connection with the state is the delivery of passengers to a New Jersey location. The Assembly approved the measure in June by a vote of 79-0. The Senate approved it today by a vote of 39-0.