At long last, NJ is close to a détente between the Legislature and the Governor’s office on a new business incentives program designed to attract and retain businesses to NJ. The new recovery and reform package will be known as the “New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020,” or Assembly Bill 4. It is scheduled for a remotely-held bill hearing at the Assembly Appropriations Committee Friday, Dec. 18, at 11 a.m.
According to Tim Sullivan, the CEO of NJ Economic Development Authority, the new 6 year, $11.5B incentives program will focus on job creation, innovation, and helping to solve longstanding economic inequality issues.
According to NJ ROI, there will be an Assembly Appropriations Committee meeting Friday, with Assembly and Senate votes likely scheduled for Monday.
Some of the highlights of the program:
• Annual Cap – it will have an annual cap of $1.5 billion, with each of the programs having an individual cap;
• Per Jobs Cap and Per Business Cap – it will cap per-job credits and total credits per business — the previous program had no limits on either — and awards will be focused on high-growth industries;
• Transformational Projects – there will be an additional fund of approximately $2.5 billion for yet-to-be-defined “transformational” projects, thus giving the state the ability to offer massive incentives for Amazon-like projects;
• North/South Jersey – the program will include a North-South agreement, with approximately 1 of every 3 dollars reserved for the seven counties that make up South Jersey;
• Credits – it will include a food desert alleviation program, a state-level Historic Tax Credit, a brownfields remediation program and a program designed to support expansion of anchor institutions like higher education, hospitals and arts/culture institutions;
• Evergreen Investment – it will include the Governor’s Evergreen investment program;
• Main Street Businesses – it will have a $50 million direct appropriation to support Main Street businesses through grants, loans and technical assistance. It will do so with 25% being set aside to directly support minority- and women-owned firms; and
• Prevailing Wage – it will require community benefit agreements that include prevailing wage rules and new requirements for building service workers.
Duane Morris has an active team of lawyers who engage in the public-private partnership space where State based incentives are often critical to the success of a project. If you have any questions or thoughts, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Mike Barz, Paul Josephson, Sheila Slocum Hollis, or any of the Duane Morris lawyers you regularly engage with.
Be well and stay safe.