CARTERET—The New Jersey Enterprise Zone Authority has extended Carteret’s Urban Enterprise Zone designation 15 years, Mayor Dan Reiman and the Economic Development Office announced Monday.
Continuing U.E.Z. status will allow for ongoing economic growth in the borough, according to Reiman, by providing consumer incentives through the program’s 3.5% savings on state sales tax, and the generation of up to $1.5 million in annual U.E.Z. revenue for reinvestment.
Carteret’s current U.E.Z. designation was set to expire this month.
New Jersey’s Urban Enterprise (UEZ) Program was enacted in 1983, and as of October 2008 is administered by the Department of Community Affairs. The program was created to foster an economic climate that revitalizes designated urban communities and stimulates their growth by encouraging businesses to develop and create private sector jobs through, public and private investment.
The program was designed specifically to benefit business communities in “urban need” areas like Carteret, offering participating businesses many incentives that encourage business growth and stimulate local economies state-wide. It now supports more than 6,500 businesses and 139,000 full-time jobs in the state, and has attracted $26.4 billion in private investment. Benefits include a number of tax and other financial incentives that have contributed to the establishment and/or growth of 28,000 businesses state-wide.
Through the program, sales tax revenues generated by UEZ businesses are dedicated for use within the zones for economic development projects. Businesses participating in the UEZ Program can charge half the standard sales tax rate on certain purchases. In addition, UEZ businesses may enjoy tax exemptions on certain purchases and manufacturers may qualify for sales tax exemption on their energy and utility consumption when they meet specified employment and other criteria.
For each new permanent full-time employee hired, businesses may receive a one-time $1,500 tax credit. Alternatively, the UEZ Program allows a tax credit against the Corporate Business Tax up to eight percent of qualified investments within the zone. Also, businesses may be eligible for priority financial assistance.
Employers may also benefit from subsidized unemployment insurance costs for certain employees who earn less than $4,500 per quarter.
From the initial 10 UEZs that were designated in 1984, the program has grown to 32 zones in 37 municipalities throughout the state.
Carteret received its initial U.E.Z. designation in 1995. Since then, approximately two-thirds of the densely populated 4.4 square mile town has been designated U.E.Z. More than 300 businesses have registered with the U.E.Z. to date, leading to the establishment of 2,773 full-time jobs, 268 part-time jobs, and the reinvestment of $839,357,562 in private business revenue, according to borough officials.
“There’s no overlooking the huge range of improvements that can be directly attributed to Carteret’s U.E.Z. status,” Reiman said. “We now play home to high-tech industries whose presence would have been unthinkable 10 years ago, contributing substantially to our tax base, providing thousands of private sector jobs, and setting new quality of life standards in the borough. Strategic business grant and loan programs and streetscape improvements made possible through the U.E.Z. have provided incentives towards the establishment of new businesses, and the growth of our existing business community, allowing us to continually reinvest in both Carteret and New Jersey at no cost to taxpayers and entrepreneurs, and to readjust these programs according to our evolving needs as a dynamic center of revitalization.”
“It shouldn’t be overlooked that Carteret’s economic recovery, which is well documented, has been owed to a good extent to the various programs that are tied to our U.E.Z.. This designation will allow us to continue with our efforts to foster economic growth in these areas,” Carteret U.E.Z. Board Chairman Al Walsh added.
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