A bill that would provide $1 billion in additional tax credits for state incentives to build near train stations advanced out of the Senate Economic Growth Committee today.
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak (D-Union), who chairs the committee that advanced the measure; it would increase the amount of incentives available under the program from $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion.
Projects must include $50 million in investment and 250 jobs to the state to be eligible for tax credits under the program.
The Economic Development Authority stopped taking applications for the residential portion of the program on Tuesday because it is reaching the amount allocated for it.
Real estate attorney Ted Zangari, founder of the Smart Growth Economic Development Coalition, said the coalition supports any effort to infuse more money into transit-friendly projects.
“It’s good to see the Legislature acknowledge that this program is having the intended stimulative effect that everybody had hoped for,” said Zangari, of Newark-based Sills, Cummis & Gross P.C.
Zangari said if the state is “practicing fiscal triage,” it’s most important to provide support to the residential portion of the transit hub program. Another program that requires additional funding is the Grow New Jersey Business Assistance Program, which he expects to exhaust its $200 million in allocated incentives far ahead of its 2014 expiration deadline.
The bill also addresses Grow New Jersey, doubling the available incentives to $400 million.
The bill was supported by Chris Sturm, senior director of state policy for planning advocacy organization New Jersey Future, who said the tax credit program “has really helped turn our cities around.”
An Assembly version of the bill has yet to be referred to a committee.