Senator Nicholas J. Sacco issued the following statement on the governor’s veto today of legislation that would end the raiding of Urban Enterprise Zone dollars to fill gaps in the state budget. The bill would have revived the economic development component of the Urban Enterprise Zone program, sending sales tax money generated in the UEZ’s back into the zones to be used for economic development projects.
“The Urban Enterprise Zone program is about investing in our state’s economically-depressed areas, improving opportunities for businesses to grow and thrive and putting residents in our local communities back to work. The funding that would have been recycled back into the zones through this legislation would have allowed for economic improvements in UEZs across the state and the expansion of businesses, which would have meant new jobs. It would have included much-needed funding for communities as diverse as North Bergen with $2.1 million, Newark with $950,000 and Lakewood, the state’s largest UEZ, with over $4 million. I am incredibly disappointed the governor vetoed this legislation. At a time when many urban areas are still struggling to regain their footing, this was a common sense bill that would have put money back into their local economies. This is help that many towns and cities desperately need.”