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March 29, 2011

Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign to eliminate the state’s Urban Enterprise Zones found another target Monday, as he vetoed $45,700 in spending by the Long Branch UEZ, saying it was potentially wasteful.

Christie announced last month that he wanted to eliminate the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program, which allows urban city centers to charge half the state's 7 percent sales tax in order to attract shoppers. Typically, the tax revenues a UEZ does raise are reinvested in the business district.

Christie rejected $45,700 of the Long Branch UEZ’s $135,800 request. The expenditures were to be spent on a UEZ city calendar, promotional items for expositions and conferences, and videos of events.

By eliminating the UEZ zones, the Christie administration says it can save $100 million and move the tax revenues to the general fund. On its own website, however, the state says the UEZ program supports more than 133,000 full-time jobs and has attracted $31.6 billion in private investment. It says that 6,800 businesses are currently benefiting from the program, which was enacted in 2008.

For more information about the UEZ program.

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