On Thursday, February 20, The Shoppes At Lafayette hosted a press conference by Congressman Josh Gottheimer, New Jersey Senate President Steven M. Sweeney, and New Jersey Senator Steven V. Oroho. They announced their program to establish a Rural Enterprise Zone. Please see a partial news release below.
Retail and investment growth in the Regions have been stagnant, leading to a 7-10% decrease in property values, foreclosure rates nearly four times the national average, and making New Jersey number one in the nation for out-migration. We must continue to preserve and protect the natural beauty and water resources encapsulated in these Regions, while also promoting eco-tourism, retail, agriculture, manufacturing, and STEM businesses to grow the regional economy to help create jobs, cut taxes, and increase property values. We can grow the economy and protect the environment.
Establish a Rural Enterprise Zone Program to Benefit the Greater Highlands and Pinelands Regions
• These zones in the Greater Highlands and Pinelands Regions will benefit local businesses, attract new ones, and spur retail and tourism. The Greater Highlands Region will consist of the existing Highlands Preservation and Planning Areas with an expansion into the remainder of Northern Warren and Sussex Counties.
• Will reduce sales taxes to 4.3125% in the Greater Highlands and Pinelands Regions o The general sales tax rate in New Jersey is 6.625%; the current sales tax rates in Urban Enterprise Zones is 3.3125%.
• Reduce property taxes by designating a sales tax of 4.3125% in the Greater Highlands and Pinelands Regions with one full point going directly to reduce property taxes via the respective counties in the Greater Highlands and Pinelands Regions.
• Will also feature economic benefits including: financial assistance for businesses from relevant state agencies, including through public-private partnerships with the NJ Economic Development Authority, exemptions from energy sales tax for qualified manufacturing firms, and tax credits for qualified investments.