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Some on the Fence Over NJ Tax Credits

According to the Wall Street Journal, The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has approved tax credits worth $394 million for 10 projects near certain rail hubs.

The credits are awarded under the urban transit tax credit—first passed in 2007 and broadened in 2009—and instituted to spark development in struggling central business districts. To qualify, property owners have to make at least $50 million worth of capital investments in a facility within a half-mile of a rail station, in one of nine cities, and support 250 full-time employees.

Beneficiaries include Panasonic with a $102 million subsidy awarded from its move from Secaucus to Newark and the Gateway Transit Village, where New Brunswick Development and Pennrose Properties are building a $150 million mixed-use residential center. Condos will start at $250,000 and go up to $440,000, according to Christopher Paladino, president of Devco. Rentals will go for $1,400 to $2,800 per month.

“These nine cities are distressed,” says Tim Lizura, senior vice president at the Authority. “This program was designed to turn the tide and create a mechanism to allow corporations to invest in central business districts.”

The EDA claims the initiative will prove its value as it helps the state’s central business districts recover from years of neglect and the recent downturn. However, some question the authority’s power to grant the tax credits and others have voiced concern over using so much taxpayer money to subsidize the relocation of a global powerhouse company like Panasonic.

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