VAN DREW'S UEZ BILL PASSES FULL SENATE

Legislation sponsored by Senators Jeff Van Drew and Jim Whelan to support businesses in urban enterprise zones, by providing them an immediate sales tax break when purchasing equipment and other items for their businesses– instead of requiring them to navigate bureaucratic red tape to apply for the sales tax exemption – was approved today by the full Senate.

The bill (S-2132) would provide all businesses located in one of the state’s 33 urban enterprise zones (UEZ’s) with a sales tax exemption when making purchases for their businesses. Currently, only small businesses with sales of less than $10 million are eligible for the “point of sale” exemption; other businesses must apply to the state for a reimbursement.

“UEZ-based businesses are critical to creating jobs and spurring economic growth in many of the state’s historic downtowns,” said Van Drew (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “An immediate tax exemption will incentivize businesses to locate in urban enterprise zones and send the message that we recognize and support the contributions they make to our communities.”

“The state uses the sales tax exemption as a means of attracting businesses to urban enterprise zones, and then makes it extremely difficult for them to take advantage of it,” said Senator Whelan (D-Atlantic). “This bill eliminates the burden on companies of having to file unnecessary paperwork for the ability to receive the benefits they were promised by the state, and gives all businesses the tax break at the point of sale.”

According to the state Department of Community Affairs, the UEZ Program supports more than 139,000 full-time jobs and has attracted in excess of $26 billion in private investment since its inception in 1983. Nearly 6,500 businesses operate in a UEZ.

The bill passed the Assembly by a vote of 69-10-1 in June. It cleared the Senate by a vote of 40-0, and must go back to the Assembly for concurrence with amendments.

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