Enacted in 1983, New Jersey’s Urban Enterprise (UEZ) Program has attempted to stimulate and revitalize economic growth by encouraging businesses to create jobs in urban communities. Over three decades after enactment, the UEZ Program had encompassed thirty-two designated zones throughout the state in need of economic growth. The original five zones have been eliminated from the program as of December 31, 2016 after Governor Chris Christie had vetoed legislation a few months ago that would have extended the sunset date of the entire UEZ Program by ten years. This legislation would have allowed the original five zones to continue to be part of the program after 2016.
The UEZ-qualified businesses located in Bridgeton, Camden, Newark, Plainfield, and Trenton will no longer be eligible for any UEZ incentives or benefits as of January 1, 2017. These incentives and benefits include: collecting sales and use tax at 50% of the state’s sales tax rate; UEZ sales tax exemptions certificates; UEZ corporation business tax employees credit/investment tax credit and credit carryforward; and sales and use tax exemption for natural gas and electricity purchased by certain manufacturers.
While it’s possible that an extension could still be granted, the UEZ benefits for these five original zones are currently no longer available.