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Posted on: June 7, 2019

Tax Incentive Debate Looms over State Budget

On Wednesday, Governor Murphy outlined his proposal for a revamping of State economic development initiatives offered through the Economic Development Agency (EDA). As you are likely aware, the incentives advanced in the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 have become a source of controversy since a State Comptroller’s report late last year. The current incentives program is set to expire on June 30.

Currently, the State Task Force appointed by the Governor is examining the incentives program and the State Senate has created a special committee chaired by Senator Bob Smith to do the same. In the Assembly, Speaker Coughlin has indicated that the standing Assembly Commerce Committee would also undertake a review.

Legislative leadership has expressed an interest in extending the current program for another year to develop a new program. In the Governor’s speech on Wednesday in Cherry Hill, he outlined his proposal for the creation of five new programs to replace the current incentives program:

1) NJ Forward: to promote investments in the newly designated Opportunity Zones;
2) NJ Aspire: to promote neighborhood based investment;
3) A new Brownfield Redevelopment program;
4) Innovation Evergreen Fund: to leverage the sale of future tax credits for strategic investments;
5) Historic Preservation incentives.

The League will provide a deeper explanation and analysis of this proposal in the upcoming days. In the meanwhile, the Thursday story from NJ Spotlight provides good background.

Contact: Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, mcerra@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 ext. 120.

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