On Thursday, the Senate Economic Growth Committee approved S-846, which will extend the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) designation for participating municipalities for another 10 years. The League supports this extension, which will encourage businesses to continue to invest in those communities. Municipalities that host UEZs have higher than average unemployment rates, lower than average per capita and household incomes, and the vast majority are also home to high percentages of tax-exempt properties.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Shirley Turner, will now head to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
The UEZ Program offers incentives to participating businesses, designed to encourage business growth, provide jobs, and stimulate local economies. Approximately 6,800 certified UEZ businesses participate and benefit from the advantages of the UEZ program statewide. To qualify for these advantages, a business must agree that 25 percent of its workforce will include either local residents, or State residents who have been unemployed for at least a year, or both.
As you may recall, at the end of 2016 the UEZ program expired in five municipalities. Businesses in those municipalities – Bridgeton, Camden, Newark, Plainfield, and Trenton – lost the benefits accorded to qualified enterprises, through the program. At the League’s request, the bill was amended to make certain that it will reinvigorate the UEZ program and empower the businesses in those municipalities.
We thank Senator Turner and urge approval of S-846. A companion bill, A-1320, awaits action in the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x121.