End of N.J. urban enterprise zones will ‘devastate’ cities, lawmaker says

New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Gusciora

New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Gusciora

Some municipal officials say they’re disappointed with Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of legislation to extend New Jersey’s Urban Enterprise Zones another 10 years.

Christie, who called the program a 30-year failed experiment, said the extending it would cost the state more than $2 billion over the next decade.

The zones allow businesses in economically depressed areas to charge a reduced sales tax rate to attract customers.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Mercer, said Christie’s veto will hurt Trenton and other cities.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“It’s going to be devastating to the urban areas,” said Gusciora, who sponsored the legislation. “Businesses are going to pull out of the city. They’ve been able to attract people from outside of the city into the city to enjoy the reduction in sales tax, and now it’s going to be a big problem.”

The Urban Enterprise Zone in Plainfield is set to expire at the end of the year, and Mayor Adrian Mapp said that will be tough on merchants and reduce the city’s ability to attract new businesses.

“We are very disappointed that the governor, in spite of the need for such a program, hasn’t seen fit to provide this means of allowing poor urban centers to be able to incentivize potential development,” Mapp said.

Sen. Shirley Turner, D-Mercer, said she will fight for an override of the governor’s veto.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal