Revised UEZ measure draws gubernatorial veto

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a measure intended to put in place a revised Urban Enterprise Zone program, which last

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a measure intended to put in place a revised Urban Enterprise Zone program, which last year saw its state funding cut.

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The bill, A2925, which was sponsored by Assemblyman Albert Coutinho, (D-29), of Newark, called for the state’s 31 UEZ towns to gradually receive less and less state funding over a five-year period, by which time they would hopefully become self-sufficient. UEZs are generally in distressed towns and charge a 3.5 percent sales tax, half the state’s rate.

The bill requires participating towns to have five–year economic growth plans, and if the goals aren’t met, the funding is discontinued.

Under the bill, the revenue derived from the sales tax collected from participating businesses in enterprise zones will be split between the state general fund and municipal UEZ accounts, among others.

Over the years, there have been several instances where towns participating in the UEZ program used the sales tax funding from the state to buy things other than for UEZ purposes, with the money being used for salaries, purchase of police cars, and other things.

 

 

Revised UEZ measure draws gubernatorial veto