Nine urban farms, seven schools, 49 gardens and parks, and 470,798 feet of developed commercial space: These are some of the success stories that the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) program has been responsible for over the last 15 years.
This week, community developers, elected officials and investors in Monroe celebrated the program. Established in 2002 by the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey and authorized by the NJ Legislature, it offers businesses that invest in distressed communities a 100 percent tax credit against various state taxes.
“NRTC is one of the biggest public-private partnership success stories fostered by our sector,” said Staci Berger, president and CEO of the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ (the Network). “Investments in the program have helped strengthen neighborhoods and our economy by creating jobs and affordable homes on top of generating millions of dollars in local tax revenues.”
The NRTC provides $10 million annually in tax credits toward the revitalization of low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, and according to the Network, community developers are pressing state officials to expand the NRTC program by an additional $20 million due to its popularity.
Since its inception, $98 million has been invested by 43 businesses such as Horizon Healthcare, PSE&G and PNC Bank. These investments have translated into 53 completed projects.
According to the Network, organizations receiving NRTC investment were able to leverage over $166 million in public and private investments on top of the initial investments.
“The NRTC program provides NJ corporations with an opportunity to invest directly into community-driven projects all while deepening relationships with nonprofit organizations that know the neighborhoods best,” said Alle Ries, vice president, New Jersey Community Reinvestment Act officer, M&T Bank.
Aside from the financial benefit, NRTC has improved the lives both directly and indirectly of residents across the state.
“It’s not only the economic impact that has made NRTC so successful, it’s also the engagement of the people who live and work in the neighborhood,” said John Restrepo, director of housing and community development, Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation and incoming Network Board Chair. “More than 500 residents and stakeholders were engaged in the development of the neighborhood plan for our NRTC project. As a result of that engagement, we’re able to use NRTC dollars to address and improve quality of life.”