Continuing to act on his commitment to create jobs for New Jersey families, Governor Chris Christie today signed Senate Bill 2972 to expand job-creating tax incentives and provide an immediate economic boost to the state. Governor Christie was joined by Mayor Cory Booker at the Broad Street train station in Newark, a designated Urban Transit Hub, in signing the legislation that makes changes to incentive programs utilized by the state of New Jersey to promote economic growth and job creation – the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant (ERGG); the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Act; and a residential development program originally created under the New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act. Numerous large-scale development projects currently pending around the state are expected to be jump-started by the expansion of these programs.
“Creating good paying, lasting jobs for New Jersey families is a top priority of this Administration, which is why tax cuts and incentive programs that help businesses grow and expand were a core aspect of my budget, and will continue to serve as tools to foster economic growth. Today, we are providing needed changes to incentives that are critical to growing our economy, creating jobs, and providing more opportunities for New Jersey families,” said Governor Christie. “Putting in place targeted incentives to encourage businesses to build, develop and expand in the state is a critical piece of our broader efforts to drive New Jersey’s economic recovery. New Jerseyans put to work as a result of our efforts are the final and most important beneficiaries of everything we do, which is why we will continue working aggressively to build on the positive, early progress we’ve made in returning our state to prosperity and affordability.”
S-2972 expands the ERGG program to make growth areas in the Meadowlands eligible for ERGG grants, adding the Meadowlands to the other areas of the state where growth is encouraged and eligibility for ERGG grants is already provided, including State Planning Areas, Pinelands growth areas, transit villages and closed federal military bases. This change will impact the American Dream at Meadowlands project that Governor Christie has worked to get back on track with a new plan under a new developer – Triple Five, owners of the Mall of America.
In addition, the legislation also makes several changes to the Urban Hub program: increasing the credit for residential projects from 20% to 35% of eligible costs over 10 years; providing that affordable housing requirements for an Urban Hub project are to be determined in the sole discretion of the municipality; allowing mixed use projects to receive tax credits for both the residential component and the commercial components of a project; allowing the tax credits to be carried forward for up to 20 years; clarifying existing law that property located within an Urban Hub area, but adjacent to a rail spur for freight rail that is not within an Urban Hub area, is eligible; and providing new standards and procedures for the net benefit analysis for in-state job moves.
Over the course of the last year, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) has been involved in discussions with developers advancing significant mixed use projects across the state. The goal of the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit program is promoting vibrant communities where people can work, live and shop, and the changes signed into law today are a significant step forward for impactful revitalization projects. The Christie Administration expects renewed activity in moving them forward. Examples of these projects include the Teachers Village project in Newark, the Gateway project in New Brunswick and Haddon Avenue Transit Village in Camden, each representing game-changing projects with investments aimed at providing housing and retail opportunities with commercial components and each leading to significant job creation and private sector investment.
“This is a significant day for Newark and for New Jersey – a day when the state’s urban centers receive a set of supercharged tools to create jobs and kick-start New Jersey’s economy. The bill Governor Christie signed today is the product of a true bipartisan collaboration. I am grateful to the Governor and his Administration – as well as to Senator Ray Lesniak, Assemblyman Al Coutinho, and the Legislature – for joining forces with cities like ours and crafting this important package,” said Mayor Cory A. Booker. “In Newark, these incentives will enable crucial development projects to break ground. With credit to our collective efforts to date as well as these new measures, over 25 development projects in Newark will be underway in 2011. That represents over $700 million in total development, producing over 2,500 construction jobs and over 2,500 permanent jobs. Together, these projects will have a transformative impact here in New Jersey’s largest city. Thanks to our partnership with Governor Christie and the Legislature, this is Newark’s Groundbreaking Year – and we look forward to making much more progress together.”
In addition, as part of the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget proposal, Governor Christie provided $180 million in targeted tax cuts for small businesses in New Jersey to spur job growth and increase business investment and expansion. Among the tax reforms included were: a change in the corporate business tax formula from a three-factor formula to a single sales factor formula; an option for taxpayers to carry forward losses from certain business-related categories of gross incomes for up to two years; a 25 percent reduction in the minimum tax for S-Corporations; a doubling of the research and development credits; and a phase out of the Transitional Energy Facility Assessment (TEFA) by January 2012. The Governor has consistently stressed the need for reform and fiscal discipline to break from the state’s hostile climate towards business expansion and job growth.
Since Governor Christie took office, the Administration has been committed to bringing real, bipartisan solutions to the critical challenges faced by the state. These include signing into law a Fiscal Year 2012 Budget that provides $180 million in job creating tax cuts for small businesses and that does not raise taxes on New Jersey families, closing an $11 billion budget deficit without tax increases, passing Cap 2.0 to bring real property tax relief, and enacting historic, bipartisan pension and health benefits reforms. Yesterday, Governor Christie and Lt. Governor Guadagno reported that since 2010, new foreign direct investment in New Jersey is expected to support more than 410 new jobs, 1,500 construction jobs and contribute over $1.4 billion of capital investment into the state.
Additionally, the Administration has continued to advance policies to further improve New Jersey’s business climate by sunsetting the corporate business tax surcharge, signing new, robust business attraction legislation, and protecting businesses from an average $400 per employee, or 52% increase in the unemployment insurance payroll tax. Those policies, coupled with recent activities like the Governor’s ‘Creating Jersey Jobs Summit,’ and the Lt. Governor’s ‘100 Businesses’ initiative all demonstrate that New Jersey is well-positioned for business expansion, economic growth and job creation as our economy recovers.