UEZ LEGISLATION MOVES FORWARD IN SENATE

Legislation sponsored by Senators Jeff Van Drew and Brian Stack to overhaul the state’s Urban Enterprise Zone Program by implementing strict requirements that would increase accountability of participating municipalities was approved last week by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

The reform bill is intended to restart the successful UEZ program – which historically has recycled sales tax revenue back into the zones for economic development projects – by strengthening accountability measures and ensuring the focus of the program is to stimulate the economy and create jobs in financially distressed areas of the state. The centerpiece of the legislation would require that towns and cities create and submit to the state a five-year economic growth plan in order to continue participation in the UEZ program. The Department of Community Affairs would be responsible for assisting municipalities in developing the plans and for granting their approval.

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