A group of lawmakers, officials and business community representatives gathered in Fair Lawn Aug. 9 to announce state legislation that they say will incentivize New York businesses to expand to the Garden State while also combatting the anticipated congestion tax.
The “Stay in Jersey” bill establishes a program to encourage New York businesses to open offices in New Jersey for residents who live in the Garden State.
The legislation comes against the backdrop of New York’s congestion tax, which could go into effect as early as 2023 and cost Jersey drivers up to $23 a day to drive into certain parts of the city. “Stay in Jersey” would establish a new, $15 million per year program that lasts through 2027 with tax credits for expanding business operations into the state.
In addition to avoiding the congestion pricing, lawmakers say the move would also help Garden State commuters save on expensive tolls, gas and parking; leave more time to spend with family; and help to support New Jersey’s economy.
“The ‘Stay in Jersey’ bill will establish a new incentive program to provide New York businesses with tax credits for expanding business operations into New Jersey – closer to the primary residence of existing Jersey full-time employees – to help them avoid having to drive into the city and get whacked by the congestion tax,” said U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-5th District. “When you add it all up: the expensive tolls, the cost of parking and gas, and the congestion tax, Jersey commuters would save $20,000 a year to Stay in Jersey. Not to mention, all the benefits of less stress and more productivity and time with families from the hours spent not driving.”
“Encouraging people to live in New Jersey isn’t difficult,” said Assemblywoman Lisa Swain, D-38th-District. “It’s our task now to encourage businesses to recognize the benefits of being in New Jersey, and to get the ball rolling on their relocation efforts.”
“Recent actions by neighboring states to add exorbitant congestion pricing fees on top of what New Jerseyans already pay, also made clear the need to reduce commuting costs,” said state Sen. Joseph Lagana, D-38th District. “It’s no secret that working close to home benefits not only residents themselves but is a boon to local economies. Business hubs spur economic development and investment in our mom-and-pop shops, local eateries and markets, and boutique downtown stores.”
Assemblyman Chris Tully, D-38th-District, said his team has been working closely with Gottheimer’s to address this issue and to counter the congestion pricing.
“What came out of those conversations was an exciting plan to incentivize businesses to relocate to New Jersey, creating hubs for people to work, live and do business right in their communities,” said Tully.
The legislation would establish the “Expand New Jersey Assistance Program” through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to provide the tax credits. They would come with conditions, such as securing a physical location for full-time employees in New Jersey, and other safeguards to prevent businesses from manipulating the spirit of the legislation.
“The bottom line is that by staying and working in New Jersey, our residents will have more money in their pockets, our state and local economies will flourish, and more of our dollars spent will go toward supporting Jersey’s incredible small businesses,” said Gottheimer.