A public hearing will be held today on the proposal of the state holding all of the Urban Enterprise Zone funds. State Senator Jeff Van Drew will chair this meeting as the chairman of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee. Senator Van Drew said the panel will also assess the impact of Governor Christie’s budget proposal, which redirects to the state millions of dollars in sales tax proceeds generated in designated urban areas and previously reinvested in those communities. The governor’s proposed budget redirects $91 million to state coffers. The Urban Enterprise Zone Program was enacted in 1983 to stimulate economic growth in urban communities. The program has grown from its initial 10 zones, to 32 zones operating in 37 municipalities. The program offers a number of incentives to facilitate economic development, including permitting businesses to charge half the sales tax rate on purchases. Sales tax revenue generated was historically dedicated for use in those zones.