NEWARK – Gov. Chris Christie signed an amended Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit bill this afternoon as he was joined by one of his closest Democratic allies, Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
Standing between the state’s largest city light-rail station and a blighted parcel that was fenced-in, Christie said the incentives were critical in revitalizing the state’s cities.
Among other things, the new law will expand the tax credit eligibility for development projects built around transportation hubs, from 20 percent of a corporate business tax credit to 35 percent.
Assemblyman Albert Coutinho, (D-29), of Newark, who was also there for the signing, said parts of the Meadowlands will be included as part of the Economic Redevelopment Growth Grant program, which will enable the former Xanadu project to move forward. The credit will also enable a corporate park to be built in Teterboro, he said.
Christie said the tax credit will help create more private-sector jobs. He said in the past 12-month period, 29,300 jobs have been created in the private sector, the most in a year-long period since 2005. He said it was a sign that New Jersey “is open for business again.”
“Unlike Washington D.C., the two parties can get along (in New Jersey),” the governor said.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker said the credit will help his city move forward with several industrial and residential projects, such as the Teacher’s Village project. The credit is expected to produce some 44,000 construction jobs in Newark along with dozens of projects, he said.
“This is a tremendous day for our city,” Booker said.
He pointed to the blighted property opposite the rail station, calling it “an oasis of hope.’’
“We are now seeing signs of hope and signs of promise,” Booker said.
He said Christie is making tangible impacts by helping create jobs to combat the city’s longstanding problem of crime.
“The way we’re going to combat crime is by creating job opportunities,” Booker said.