The New Jersey Urban Transit Tax Credit Program provides an average incentive to a company of $167,000 for every job created in or saved from leaving the state. The tax credit is for projects of $50 million or more within a half mile to one mile radius of transportation centers in nine cities such as Camden, Newark, Jersey City, Hoboken, Elizabeth, Paterson, East Orange and Trenton. The development’s “multiplier effect” of new employment and commerce must generate 10% more in new tax revenue than the amount of the tax credit. Residential projects do not have to have the same job creation effect, but they also do not qualify for as generous a subsidy.
The program started small, with state officials estimating that only a few businesses would qualify, but it has expanded into the state’s most important business incentive program. Since 2010, 18 residential, commercial and mixed-use projects have been awarded $977 million under the program. The recipients have pledged to invest $2.1 billion, create 2,910 jobs and retain 2,935 others deemed at risk of moving out of state.