BURZICHELLI: CHRISTIE’S PROPOSED ELIMINATION OF UEZ PROGRAM A TAX INCREASE BY ANY OTHER NAME
Ending Program Would Force a 100-Percent Tax Increase on State’s Urban Residents
(PAULSBORO) – Following the Christie administration’s release of a report calling for the elimination of the state’s Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program by the end of fiscal year 2011, Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), whose district includes the Bridgeton UEZ, issued the following statement:
“The report issued by the Christie administration calling for the elimination of the state’s UEZ program amounts to one thing and one thing only: a tax increase on the state’s poorest residents.
“Eliminating the UEZ program amounts to a 100 percent sales tax increase on every urban resident in the state – something few, if any of them can afford. Additionally, many urban small businesses – a majority of which are minority owned – rely on the sales tax breaks offered under the UEZ program to keep from operating in the red. A UEZ elimination will do nothing but stagnate business growth in our cities and harm New Jersey’s economic recovery in the long-run.
“While Gov. Christie is busy attempting to protect the assets of dead millionaires, he is doing so at the direct expense of New Jersey’s urban families and businesses.”
WATSON COLEMAN: CALL FOR UEZ ELIMINATION
A DECLARATION OF GEOGRAPHIC WAR BY CHRISTIE
Program Elimination Would Decimate Urban, Minority Businesses in New Jersey
(TRENTON) – Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer) issued the following statement Thursday in response to a report issued by the Christie administration that calls for the elimination of the state’s Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program by June, the end of the state’s fiscal year:
“That Gov. Christie’s hand-picked taskforce would call for the elimination of New Jersey’s Urban Enterprise Zone program, which has successfully encouraged businesses – from big box stores to local bodegas – to set up shop in our cities proves two things.
“First, it shows that the governor is not content merely to wage class warfare against middle class families. In commissioning this report, he has also signaled his willingness to engage in a geographic war against New Jersey’s urban areas.
“Second, and more importantly, it shows in black and white that this governor is not serious about preserving jobs in the state.
“Eliminating the UEZ program will almost certainly stall any new business development in our cities and will likely lead to small and minority owned businesses in our urban centers closing their doors for good, depriving the state of revenue and pushing more hard working families onto the unemployment rolls. It also will lead to a sales tax increase on low-income urban residents.
“This report also doubles as the latest salvo in Gov. Christie’s sustained attack against the City of Trenton. Calling for the elimination of UEZs is a kick in the teeth to Trenton residents, who have already suffered through Gov. Christie’s elimination of Capitol City aid in last year’s budget and, more recently, were left off the list of priority projects put forth by the Schools Development Authority.
“If this is Gov. Christie’s definition of ‘The New Normal,’ then working class New Jerseyans are in for rough days ahead.”
QUIGLEY: UEZ REPORT FURTHER PROOF CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION HAS LITTLE INTEREST IN WORKING CLASS NEIGHBORHOODS
(JERSEY CITY) – Assemblywoman Joan M. Quigley (D-Hudson) released the following statement Thursday on a Christie administration report that recommends eliminating New Jersey’s Urban Enterprise Zones:
“Well, most of us already knew that job creation and economic development were not the governor’s priorities, but after this report there can be no doubt that this administration has little interest in residents and businesses in working class neighborhoods.
“Any report that questions the success of New Jersey’s Urban Enterprise Zone program ignores reality.
“This program supports 133,000 full-time jobs and has attracted $31.6 billion in investment into struggling communities. Since the program started, 30,000 businesses have benefited from it, and sales tax revenues generated by UEZ businesses have led to 2,620 economic development projects.
“The report somehow criticizes UEZ programs for not spending every penny they take in on annual basis, as if government is supposed to just spend for the sake of doing so. UEZ programs that carry surpluses and plan sensibly should be held out as examples, not punished.
“No program is perfect, but the UEZ program has been, by any objective measure, a successful economic development program.”
QUIJANO: WITHOUT THE UEZ PROGRAM MANY OF OUR URBAN CITIES WOULD BE GHOST TOWNS
(UNION) – Assemblyman Annette Quijano (D-Union) today took the Christie administration to task for abandoning the needs of New Jersey’s urban cities by recommending the dismantling of one of the main drivers of revitalization - the state’s Urban Enterprise Zone Program (UEZ).
Quijano, who represents two Urban Enterprise Zones – Elizabeth and Roselle, pointed to tangible proof of the program’s success in her district and throughout the state.
“To call for the dismantling of this program is nothing short of foolish. If any bureaucratic inefficiencies exist, then fix them. But don’t leave our urban cities to flounder without any economic revitalization engine.
“For nearly three decades this program has helped revitalize some of our most hard-hit urban cities. With nearly 1,000 participating businesses, the Elizabeth UEZ has the highest participation rate in the state. It has spurred nearly $2 billion in economic development and, as a result, has helped reinvest more than $50 million into the city through the sales tax generated by the program.
“Without the UEZ program, many of our urban cities would be ghost towns today. In the 1970’s and ‘80’s when the mall industry exploded and manufacturing companies fled for greener pastures, our urban cities were left to wither and die without any impetus for revitalization.
“Along came the UEZ program and we started to see once vacant and abandoned downtowns blossom again, new streetscapes were created and old factories were transformed into newly productive businesses. And more importantly, this transformation created much-needed jobs and revenue. This is all due to the tax incentives provided through the UEZ.”