ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Mayors from key cities throughout New Jersey today voiced their endorsement for the tax incentives proposal put forward by Governor Phil Murphy.
The governor held a briefing for about 30 elected officials to outline the proposed plan, after which mayors from Trenton, Paterson, and Atlantic City stood with the governor to lend their support.
“Our proposal represents the next generation of tax incentives, which will usher in a new era of economic prosperity in New Jersey and enable us to reclaim our rightful place atop the innovation economy,” said Governor Murphy. “In addition to providing for robust job growth, our proposal will ensure every dollar spent on these programs is accounted for and every company that receives an award is vetted and has certified that information in the application is true.”
Governor Murphy’s proposal would replace the incentives programs that expired in June and revamp several current programs, while adding additional avenues for tax incentives.
“As the mayor of the state’s capital city, I welcome the Governor’s efforts to create an incentives plan that will benefit not just our city, but also the business development we want to bring here,” said Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora.
The new program offers provisions to specifically benefit a number of New Jersey cities including Newark, Trenton, Paterson, Atlantic City, and Camden, providing incentives for both brownfields and historic building redevelopment.
Among the tenets of the new proposal are a requirement that recipients of tax credits sign a community benefit agreement that requires a public hearing on the project, the creation of a community advisory committee, and requirements for training, employment, and youth development.
“Paterson has a blueprint for success. Now we need the tools to build our city. I am proud to support Governor Murphy's bold and innovative economic incentive initiative,” said Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh.
The plan, first proposed in October 2018, would cap the state’s incentives programs at a sustainable level, while still providing for robust economic development. The proposal includes provisions for the support of organized labor, as well as several anti-corruption measures to ensure that all taxpayer money is accounted for and incentive applicants provide for all jobs and benefits called for in their approvals.
“Governor Murphy’s vision for economic development sets exactly the right tone for New Jersey’s economy,” said Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, who could not attend the event but voiced his support. “Supporting startups will not only entice talented entrepreneurs to come to New Jersey but also bolster job growth as those companies prosper and grow.”
The incentives programs are built on five pillars, which include replacements for the job attraction and retention programs contained in the Economic Opportunity Act that expired in June. In addition to those programs and the brownfields and historic preservation credits, the governor’s proposal includes the Innovation Evergreen Fund, which would help to provide capital to New Jersey based startup companies.
"We would like to thank the Governor for his plan for all of these incentives through the Economic Development Authority," said Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small, Sr. "We here at the city of Atlantic City intend to take full advantage of all so we can diversify our offerings outside of casino gaming."
“Gov. Murphy’s plan for the next generation of economic development incentives is a bold, pro-growth progressive vision that will help attract and create meaningful private investment and jobs,” EDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “With these tools in the toolkit as part of the Governor’s broader strategy, we can invest in our people, revitalize our communities, and rekindle New Jersey’s culture of innovation.”
Since its release last year, the proposal has been strengthened through negotiations with the legislature to include provisions to combat food deserts, allow for transformational projects, and incorporate the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Ignite program, which provides rent payments to early-stage businesses.