New Jersey lawmakers are considering legislation that would extend the Urban Enterprise Zone program for an additional ten years.
John Moran with the New Jersey League of Municipalities says about six thousand businesses take advantage of the program that’s designed to help small businesses by allowing them to charge half the state sales tax rate.
“The businesses don’t get it for free. They agree to certain conditions. The agree to hire New Jersey residents who’ve been unemployed for a year at least, 25 percent of the workforce. It’s a good program. It provides vital economic development in the towns where it exists. It’s been effective in helping those towns really survive.”
The legislation would also restore the UEZ designation that expired last year in Newark, Camden, Trenton, Bridgeton, and Plainfield.
The Senate Economic Growth Committee voted to advance the legislation. Senator Steve Oroho was among the Republicans who opposed it.
“Having lower rates obviously I think increases economic activity. If it was statewide, I ‘d be a wholehearted support of this bill, but since it’s only certain areas of the state, I’ll have to oppose it.”
Senator Shirley Turner is hoping Governor Phil Murphy will sign the bill.
“Governor Christie did not see the value in the program. His preference was to provide subsidies and incentives to large corporations who were located for most part in suburban areas, and the urban areas have been neglected.”