From NJ Spotlight:
Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law on Thursday a massive, $14 billion corporate tax-break bill that he said will help foster a stronger state economic recovery coming out of the coronavirus pandemic.
The new law’s enactment comes less than a month after the bill was introduced and put on a fast track by lawmakers following a deal reached with Murphy that resolved several longstanding economic-development policy disagreements.
The governor and several lawmakers who attended a morning bill-signing event in Hamilton, Mercer County, focused on ways they said the tax breaks established by their compromise could help generate new jobs in a state that has been ravaged by the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis.
“This is how we propel our economy moving forward to be a strong and resilient, post-COVID reality and future,” Murphy said.
The voluminous law updates economic-development tax-incentive programs that were allowed to expire more than a year ago as Murphy and fellow Democrats who control the Legislature were unable to reach an agreement to renew them.
The law also establishes several new programs to encourage things like historic preservation, brownfield remediation and the elimination of so-called food deserts in underserved communities. It also establishes tougher oversight provisions and labor protections and creates a new public-private venture-capital fund.
In all, the law would allow for up to $1.5 billion in tax breaks to be awarded annually over six years. The overall $9 billion allocation could be spread out over seven years if the total value of awarded tax breaks doesn’t hit annual program caps in the first six years, according to the law. Another up to $2.5 billion in tax breaks could also be awarded for “transformative projects” over the six to seven years.
The law also sets aside $50 million in one-time funding for small-business assistance.