Reinventing Jersey City
Jersey City, NJ, located in Hudson County, lies on the west bank of the Hudson River across from lower Manhattan in New York City. The city has a population of 241,791, making it New Jersey’s second-largest city, right behind Newark.
Redevelopment efforts are still underway all over the city.
Jersey City: Making Business EZ Since 1986
In 1986, Jersey City entered into the New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program and designated several areas throughout the city as UEZs. The program allows businesses to buy and sell goods and services at a 3.5% tax rate—half the normal New Jersey sales tax. It also affords member businesses the chance to take advantage of employee tax credits, reduced unemployment insurance tax, and a variety of grants.
Since 1993, the city has seen $10.7 billion in capital investment from companies expanding or relocating within UEZs. In the past five years, the program has invested nearly $33.3 million in 61 projects through Assistance Funds generated from the 3.5% sales tax in the zones. Some 35,000 new jobs have been created since the inception of the UEZ program.
UEZ Funds at Work
In January, a ribbon-cutting in Jersey City celebrated facade improvements undertaken as part of the Block Front Program on Monticello Avenue, an important commercial strip in the city. Around $1.3 million in UEZ funds were used to help with cleaning, painting, and an assortment of repairs and upgrades. Thirteen commercial buildings in the area participated in this renovation project.
“The financial support provided by UEZ to this type of neighborhood-based economic redevelopment is crucial to the viability of our neighborhoods,” says Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy.
Each commercial property that participated in the program signed up through a partnership between the Jersey City UEZ and the Property Easement Grant programs, with the stipulation that each building owner maintain these improvements for up to five years and have no previous liens on the property.