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Governor Christie Signs “Economic Opportunity Act of 2013”

Posted on 9/20/2013 by EDTP Coordinator in Small Business Policy

At the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 to boost New Jersey's economy and create private sector jobs. The Governor previously conditionally vetoed the legislation and last week both houses concurred with his changes.

[Click here to view the Governor’s news release.]

The Governor’s conditional veto removed language that required prevailing wages be paid for maintenance services on projects receiving the newly defined incentives, a change the CCSNJ supported.
Some of the key aspects of the new law, that is effective immediately, include:
  • Caps on the value of all credits approved by the NJEDA at $260 million per fiscal year.
  • Creation of Garden State Growth Zones -- Camden, Trenton, Passaic City and Paterson.  
  • Tax credits for development of residential projects totaling at least $50 million.  The value of these tax credits can be up to 35% of the capital investment, and up to 40% for projects located in Garden State Growth Zones.
  • The new law amends the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program by providing tax credits for projects located in:  the “aviation district” around the Atlantic City International Airport; a “deep poverty pocket” or “distressed municipality;” major rail stations; port districts; newly defined urban transit hubs; and those in defined “priority areas” and other “qualified incentive areas.”  Tax credits will also be available to projects related to disaster recovery, tourism destination projects in Atlantic City, mega projects, incubator facilities, targeted industries, technology start-up companies, and transit oriented development.
  • The new law also sets minimum capital investments that must be met in order to be qualified for tax credits; however, projects in Garden State Growth Zones and capital investment in projects located in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean or Salem Counties are reduced by one-third.
  • Sets the number of new or retained full-time jobs for projects to qualify, which are reduced by 25% for projects in the Garden State Growth Zone or in the eight South Jersey counties named above.
  • Tax credits for businesses in an urban transit hub municipality, Garden State Growth Zone, or a mega project is $5,000 for each new or retained job; $4,000 per year for businesses in a distressed municipality; $3,000 per year for projects in priority areas; and $500 per year in other eligible areas.
  • Additional tax credits for new or retained full-time jobs are available to businesses that are located in:  deep poverty pockets, qualified incubator facilities, or transit oriented developments.  
  • Additional (capped) tax credits are also available for:  mixed use developments that incorporate moderate income housing; qualified business industrial facilities that makes capital investment in excess of the minimum required; businesses which pay the new or retained full time positions in excess of the average salary in the county or the Garden State Growth Zone; businesses that employ a large number of new or retained jobs; businesses in a targeted industry (transportation, manufacturing, defense, energy, logistics, life sciences, technology, health, and finance, excluding warehouse or distribution businesses); facilities that exceed LEED silver standards; mega projects in the Garden State Growth Zone; auto manufacturer with U.S. headquarters in New Jersey that retains 400 full time jobs; projects located in certain municipalities within the eight southern New Jersey counties (including Ocean); projects within one half mile of a light rail station; marine terminals in the Garden State Growth Zone within the South Jersey Port District; projects in need of redevelopment within a quarter mile of a US highway and at least two state highways; and projects that generate solar for at least 50% of its own electric needs.  
  • Incentives are also available for development of commercial buildings that have been vacant for more than one year, and are:  more than 400,000 square feet; more than 35,000 square feet in a Garden State Growth Zone; or more than 200,000 square feet of office, laboratory or industrial space located in one of the eight South Jersey counties.  Vacant health facilities are also available for incentives. 
  • The new law retains current requirements that businesses must meet or face forfeiture of the tax incentives.
  • The EDA is also permitted to increase incentives to projects meeting specific requirements.
Senate President Sweeney, Senator Don Norcross, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald and Assemblyman Troy Singleton were key players in making changes to the bill that will qualify more companies in Southern New Jersey for these incentives.
Click here to view a copy of the final legislation.
Source: CCSNJ Legislative Update:  September 19, 2013