Prieto says cities should get more sales revenue from state

It would take effect July 2015, allowing New Jersey cities to get some of their Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) money back. Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto has the company of more than a dozen democratic mayors to announce the new push.

“Urban Enterprise Zones have been working for years, now we have to keep reinvesting in ‘em so they don’t get neglected and go back to what they were. These were areas that were desolate and blighted and now they are thriving as you can from the businesses that are here,” Prieto says.

We believe that this is a bill that is like middle of the ground. “I think it’s something the governor would be willing to sign.”

Senator Nicholas Sacco sponsored legislation extending the UEZ program into North Bergen, Guttenberg and West New York.

“And that was done in the mid-1990s and it worked so beautifully,” Sacco says. “You could see the outcome, you could see businesses being established. This will be a big help to us.”

Mayor Felix Roque has nothing but praise for Sacco, the other mayors and Prieto for making it all possible.

“He’s spearheading this movement; I’m very proud of that because you know what, we have enough already on taxpayers burden to be spending more money and with this project we’re able to reduce the burden, we’re able to hire new police officers, we’re able to make our towns better,” Roque says.

As mayor of the third largest city in New Jersey, Mayor José Torres calls UEZ another tool for mayors in urban centers – these transformed environmentally challenging settings like the one where this announcement took place.

“Those are the carats that national food chains and businesses are looking for to redevelop,” Torres says. “We heard that over and over again, redevelop the site. And truth to the saying, you build it and they’ll come.”

There are 32 UEZs in 37 cities; including Asbury Park, Lakewood, Long Branch, Carteret, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Plainfield, Camden, Gloucester City, Mount Holly, Pemberton, Bridgeton, Millville and Vineland.

Jillian Risberg, HCTV
@JillianRis

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