Since 1983 the liberal State of New Jersey has used a tool called Urban Enterprise Zones to prop up the economy of what they feel are struggling cities. This program was a combination of state tax relief (3.5 vs 7%) and a kickback of a certain percentage to foster growth.
The term Urban would mean to most a populous area or a major city. New Jersey is not called the Garden State for nothing. The state has ten well populated cities. One is not even a city but a township here is a list of the most populated areas of New Jersey.
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See what I mean Brick is not even considered a city. It is a township with a population of less than 76,000 people.
So when an article appeared on the NJspotlight.com website talking about the revival of the UEZ (Urban Enterprise Zones) it peaked my interest. You see I live near a UEZ, the town of Mount Holly and they were offered the program and all the trappings. So you would think that the town would be a booming area with businesses flocking to be there. But the opposite is true. There are many empty store fronts in town and the businesses that are there, are not going blockbusters. Some are doing fine, others have been there for years but growth? Not happening!
So the report on the program issued recently that pretty much said it has had no effect on the local economies is true. Still a Cumberland County Senator Jeff Van Drew applauds the program for the little hamlets of Millville and Vineland. But the reality is that this program has cost the taxpayers of this state billions of dollars and the rewards have been minimal. The Governor was correct in killing the program. It is just another way for the Trenton machine to keep getting elected. Why do I say that? Lets look at how many “URBAN” enterprise zones in the state.
Count em folks. 37 areas get UEZ exemptions. Most are not even close to being considered urban. As a matter of fact very few are what could ne considered urban by any standard. Trenton is urban, Camden is Urban and even Patterson and Elizabeth qualify as Urban. Look how much money was pumped into Vineland! It is no small wonder Jeff Van Drew keeps getting elected. Somebody is making money.
The UEZs need to go away. They are being used as a form of campaign expenditure by local politicians and they are using money from you and me to continue the fallacy that they are a productive use of our money. It is not and Christie was right to kill the program. Last year the clowns in Trenton wasted 91 million or your money!