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NJ Senate set to vote on UEZ program extension

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A bill in the state Senate that will extend the expiration date for the Urban Enterprise Zones program by 10 years has moved out of committee and is ready for a full vote.

The bill, S-486, sponsored by state Senators Shirley Turner, D-15th District, and Nilsa Cruz-Perez, D-5th District, and has moved out of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The bill also would extend the program to five additional municipalities: Bridgeton, Camden, Newark, Plainfield and Trenton.

“Small businesses still need the help that the UEZ program provides, so we should keep it in place until more effective alternatives can be found."

Andrew Musick, vice president of Taxation & Economic development, NJBIA

A full vote is expected to happen before the end of this month, an aide to Sen. Turner told NJBIZ.

The UEZ program, launched in 1983 and set to expire this year, includes 32 municipalities in the state and offers tax benefits in zones that are underdeveloped. Those benefits include allowing businesses in UEZs to charge half of the standard sales tax rate, tax exemptions on capital equipment purchased for new facilities; a $1,500 tax credit to businesses for each new full-time employee hired; and a corporate business tax credit of up to 8 percent to participating businesses.

In 2016, former Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation would have extended the UEZ program by 10 years. Gov. Phil Murphy, however, pledged to extend the program during his campaign.

The New Jersey Business and Industry Assn., as well as the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, is publicly supporting the extension as well.

“For years, the UEZ program has helped the downtown areas of some of the state’s most economically challenged cities. With this bill, those cities will be able to count on that support for another decade,” said Andrew Musick, NJBIA vice president of Taxation & Economic Development, in a prepared statement. “Small businesses still need the help that the UEZ program provides, so we should keep it in place until more effective alternatives can be found.”

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Vince Calio

Vince Calio


Vince Calio covers health care and manufacturing for NJBIZ. You can contact him at vcalio@njbiz.com.

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