Legislation is taking off to create an economic growth zone around the Atlantic City International Airport, after a similar effort was scuttled under former Gov. Chris Christie.
The bill, which cleared the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee on Monday by an 8-1 vote, would implement a Garden State Growth Zone around the airport.
Any business which sets up shop within a one mile of the airport or the Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center, which both make up an “aviation district,” would be eligible for lucrative tax incentives to help alleviate business costs.
Similar zones have been implemented in Camden, Passaic, Paterson and Trenton.
“This is an opportunity for innovation, aviation educational research and economic development in Atlantic City,” said Assemblyman John Armato, an Atlantic County Democrat and one of the bill’s sponsors. “Creating a Garden State Growth Zone in and around the Atlantic City airport would bring high paying skilled jobs, business growth and lend to the stabilization of the local economy.”
The bill was also sponsored by Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo, D-2nd District, and Assemblyman Thomas Giblin, D-34th District.
A similar bill made its way to Christie’s desk weeks before he was slated to leave office, but he pocket vetoed the measure among dozens of other bills.
If during this round, the bill gets past Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk, it would be in the company of slews of economic redevelopment in the city as it rebounds from the collapse of the casino industry nearly a decade ago.
Ocean Resort Casino is set to open on June 28, the same day as the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
And in April, the Atlantic County Economic Alliance, in anticipation of economic growth, inked an agreement with Triad Associates of Vineland to apply for a “USDA rural business development grant application on behalf of the ACEA,” as part of an effort to better-invest in the county, according to a press release.