Stack of bills on Christie’s desk: Hub credit, DOT ads, and EITC

NEWARK – As Gov. Chris Christie prepares to announce the signing of the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit bill in Newark with Mayor Cory Booker today, a stack of bills from a manic pre-budget legislative push remains to be addressed.

The hub program grants tax credits for projects of at least $50 million, with the goal of creating at least 250 employees in transit hub areas, capped at $1.5 billion with no end date. The Office of Legislative Services said in its fiscal estimate that mixed use development projects of this size within close proximity to transit stations are infrequent, making the likelihood of new awards in the current year unlikely.

As of December 2010, eight projects for $234.8 million had been approved under the hub program and awarded by the state Economic Development Authority (EDA), including a $102 million grant for Panasonic’s relocation to Newark.

The hub bill has a second function, which grants the Meadowlands access to EDA tax credits, clearing a hurdle for the Xanadu project’s new owners, Triple Five. The state has offered roughly $200 million in tax credits to grease the wheels of progress at the stalled, multi-hued entertainment and commercial complex in North Jersey now called American Dream Meadowlands.

Also on the governor’s desk:

A4204, which restores the earned income credit program to 25 percent of the federal credit beginning in tax year 2011. (Sen: 24-15, Asm: 46-32)

S2928, which establishes a task force on the closure of state developmental centers. (Sen: 32-6, Asm: 74-0-2)

S2214, which restores income eligibility level for an AIDS Drug Distribution Program to 500 percent of the federal poverty level. (Sen: 22-12, Asm: 47-31)

S2443, which establishes the Medicaid Accountable Care Organization Demonstration Project in the Department of Human Services. (Sen: 29-9, Asm: 74-2-2)

A3944, which authorizes the N.J. Commissioner of Transportation to procure revenue-generating sponsors for, and permit sponsorship acknowledgment and advertising on, safety and emergency service patrol vehicles and equipment. (Sen: 35-2, Asm: 75-0)

A359, the Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act. (Sen: 39-0, Asm: 77-0)

A3777, which eliminates a separate presidential primary election; provides for delegates and alternates to political party national conventions to be elected at the regular June primary election. (Sen: 39-0, Asm: 78-0)

A4055, A4056, A4057, which concern funding to DEP for environmental infrastructure projects. (Sen: 37-0, 38-0, 38-0; Asm: 75-0-1, 75-0-1, 77-0-1)

A906, which provides for equal opportunity for businesses that pay societal benefits charges to apply for certain energy-related incentives and funding. (Sen: 37-0, Asm: 76-0)

A3710, which allows the N.J. Sports & Exposition Authority to jointly run racetracks; conforms standardbred racing days to the off-track and account wagering law; decreases thoroughbred racing days at Monmouth Park and Meadowlands to 71 with horsemen’s consent. (Sen: 39-0, Asm: 78-0)

S2576, which prohibits the drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing. (Sen: 33-1, Asm: 58-11-8)

S2199, which establishes N.J. Advisory Council on End-of-Life Care in the Department of Health and Senior Services. (Sen: 36-0, Asm: 72-6)

S2197, the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Act, which provides for the use of Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment forms and requires physicians and advanced practice nurses to pursue continuing education in end-of life care. (Sen: 37-0, Asm: 60-6-10)

A2632, which requires Division of Taxation to display Senior Gold prescription program information on tax return instructions. (Sen: 39-0, Asm: 78-0) Stack of bills on Christie’s desk: Hub credit, DOT ads, and EITC