Jersey City News
State Approves UEZ Extension for Jersey City
City Hall Press Release - UEZ Program Slated To Continue For 15 More YearsJanuary 2008
Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy recently announced that the State of New Jersey Commerce Commission has approved the extension of Jersey City's Urban Enterprise Zone program for another fifteen years.
"We appreciate the vote of confidence we received from the New Jersey Commerce Commission with this renewal, and look forward to continuing our partnership with them in making Jersey City New Jersey's premier city," Mayor Healy said.
Mayor Healy explained that the extension of the UEZ program, administered by their Jersey City Economic Development Corporation, will enable Jersey City to continue collecting the 3.5% sales tax in the UEZ-designated areas, and will be able to do bigger and better improvement projects within those areas.
The New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone program was created in 1983 to foster an economic climate that revitalizes communities and stimulates their growth by encouraging businesses to develop private-sector jobs through public and private investments. Qualified businesses in the UEZ are eligible for tax incentives, reduced unemployment insurance, business counseling and marketing support. Certified UEZ retailers collect just 3.5% sales tax - half the normal sales tax - an attractive incentive that they may display in their establishments and incorporate in their advertising.
About one-third of Jersey City's neighborhoods - nearly all of the commercial areas - have been designated as part of the UEZ. Funds from the sales-tax collection in these areas are reinvested in Jersey City business development programs, and used for capital investment and municipal services.
Since the beginning of the UEZ in Jersey City, more than $81 million has been reinvested in 107 UEZ projects, generating more than $10.5 billion in capital investments. The projects includes the establishment of the Special Improvement Districts (SIDs) in the Central Avenue, Historic Downtown, McGinley Square and Journal Square areas, as well as the $7.5 million Journal Square streetscape, the citywide block restoration, and the restoration of the Landmark Loew's Theatre.
In addition, UEZ funding has been used for the initiation and development of the CCTV Program for street safety, the commercial facade improvement program and has aided in purchasing new police vehicles, funding "clean and green" programs (including sanitation services and planters), and co-sponsoring community events. These revitalizing efforts have helped encourage new business investments, attracted shoppers to retail areas, and brought services and added security to adjoining residential areas.
Eugene Nelson, Chief Executive Officer of the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation, explained that Jersey City's UEZ program is one of the largest and most productive in New Jersey. In all, there are approximately 2,500 businesses within the present Jersey City Urban Enterprise Zone boundaries and about 700 of those are certified UEZ businesses. The UEZ affords member businesses the opportunity to purchase certain goods and services free of sales tax, and to take advantage of employee tax credits, reduced unemployment insurance tax and a variety of grants. Since the inception of the UEZs in Jersey City, UEZ business enrollments have accounted for the creation of more than 17,500 full-time jobs. For more information, please call (201) 333-7797