Planning Advocates Call For Amendments to Economic Development Bill
December 1st, 2011 by Chris Sturm
The New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee will today consider passage of a bill (A4306) that, in its current form, will undermine the goals of the state’s Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit (UTHTC) program and weaken the state’s long-term economic competitiveness.
A4306 builds off of the recently passed Senate bill (S3033) and would set aside an initial $200 million from the UTHTC program to create the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program, a new incentive program for wide-ranging growth areas where sprawl and auto-dependency have been perpetuated all too often
. The bill would also modify the current boundaries of an urban transit hub under the UTHTC program by expanding the radius of credit-eligible land from one-half to one mile around a transit station.
New Jersey Future joined with the American Planning Association/NJ Chapter, Regional Plan Association and Tri-State Transportation Campaign to promote four amendments that would ensure that taxpayer dollars are directed to projects that fuel a prosperous and sustainable economic future in New Jersey:
- Extend the expiration date for UTHTC commercial projects from Jan. 13, 2013, to July 1, 2014.
- Limit the diversion of funds from the UTHTC program to the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program to $200 million.
- Expand the eligibility factors for the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program’s $3,000-per-job bonus to include location in a weak-market municipality.
- Eliminate the one-mile radius amendment for an urban transit hub and maintain the half- mile standard.
Our joint statement (PDF) strongly encourages the Assembly and Senate to adopt these amendments so that taxpayer dollars can be used to incentivize development and investment in New Jersey’s cities and in communities that hold the greatest promise for the future.