State Scrutinizing Urban Enterprise Zone Program

PATERSON, NJ - New Jersey's 32  Urban Enterprise Zones, including the one in Paterson, have come under review by a state agency examining the effectiveness of the tax-relief program designed to spur economic activity, according to a story on

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is spending $160,000 on two consultants to study "the effectiveness of the program in stimulating job growth and economic development," the story said.  The authority expects to get the report by early next year.


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Governor Christie's transition report took aim at the UEZ program, as did an April report by an auditor for the state Office of Legislative Services. The same month, Christie sought to cut $92 million from the program to help balance the state budget, though some of that was restored, the story said.

Paterson was designated as an UEZ 1994, according to the city's web site.  Since that time, Paterson has collected almost $41,000,000 in tax revenue for various revitalization projects, teh web site says. The sales tax collected in Paterson has provided the UEZ with the funds to administer approximately 68 economic development projects. 

The UEZ program exempts participating businesses from paying sales tax on some purchases and offer incentives for job creation. Businesses in the zones can charge half the regular sales-tax rate — 3.5 percent — with some of the tax revenue going to local economic development projects and some to the state.


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