Chris Christie

Incentive Alert: Amazon Incentive Bill Signed by Governor Christie

Amazon HQ2 Pic 2.jpg

On Thursday, Governor Chris Christie signed bipartisan legislation authorizing the creation of the “Transformative Headquarters Economic Assistance Program.” The new program, which complements the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (Grow NJ), is meant to encourage economic development and new job creation at a corporate headquarters that is transformational to the regional economy.

To be eligible under the new program, a business must create at least 30,000 new full-time jobs, and spend at least $3 billion in capital investment. While there is no monetary cap on the value of credits under the new program, the total amount of the tax credits for each new full-time job is $10,000 per year (for up to 10 years).

Similar to the Grow NJ program, an applicant’s chief executive officer (or highest ranking U.S. officer) is required to demonstrate that the award of tax credits will be a material factor in the decision to create the jobs listed in the application. In addition, the award of tax credits under the new program must yield a net positive benefit to the State equaling at least 115 percent of the requested tax credit amount. The bill requires a business to submit an application to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) prior to July 1, 2019.

While the legislation does not specifically name the Amazon as the intended recipient of the incentive, the new program was created to help New Jersey compete to become the home of Amazon HQ2. This bipartisan bill could help make New Jersey a serious contender.

If interested in learning more about this program and other economic development incentive programs, please do not hesitate to contact Murphy Partners LLP at (973) 877-6984 or info@murphyllp.com.

MURPHY PARTNERS LLP

Murphy Partners LLP is a boutique law firm specializing in real estate and economic incentive advisory. Headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, the firm was founded to provide effective, efficient, and creative legal services to meet the distinctive needs of our clients. Through the development of comprehensive legal strategies, our team works tirelessly to create a blueprint for success and advance our clients’ interests in every matter.

Incentive Alert: Grow NJ Program Amended

On August 7, 2017, Governor Chris Christie signed legislation to amend the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (“Grow NJ”). The amendment (ACS for A-4432/SCS for S-2841), which passed both the Senate and the Assembly with broad bipartisan support, is meant to encourage businesses to enter into collaborative research relationships with New Jersey colleges and universities.

Now, businesses may qualify for a base tax credit amount of $5,000 per job, per year, if the business locates a qualified business facility (“QBF”) in a Garden State Create Zone, and the facility is used by the business in a targeted industry (including, transportation, manufacturing, defense, energy, logistics, life sciences, technology, health, and finance) to conduct a collaborative research relationship with that university.

A Garden State Create Zone is defined as the campus of a doctoral university, and the area within a three-mile radius of the outermost boundary of the campus of a doctoral university. The State currently has 8 doctoral universities, including Montclair State University, NJIT, Princeton University, Rowan University, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Rutgers University-Newark, Seton Hall University, and Stevens Institute of Technology.

In addition, the legislation establishes a new bonus of $1,000 per job, per year, if a business (1) is in a targeted industry and locates in a QBF on, or within three miles of, the campus of a college or university other than a doctoral university, and (2) the facility is used by the business to conduct a collaborative research relationship with the college or university. The State currently has 40 non-doctoral colleges and universities (including community colleges) that qualify under this bonus category.

The legislation requires the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA”), in consultation with the Secretary of Higher Education, to establish standards for collaborative research relationships between businesses in targeted industries and colleges and universities necessary for a business to qualify.

Created under the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, Grow NJ is the State’s main job creation and business retention incentive program. The purpose of the program is to encourage economic development and job creation and to preserve jobs that currently exist in New Jersey but which are in danger of being relocated outside of the State.

These recent changes to the Grow NJ program could signal a shift towards incentives aimed at encouraging job growth in industries focused on innovation. In an election year in New Jersey, the State’s economic incentive programs have been put under a microscope. While both candidates for governor believe that incentives have a role to play in the State’s overall economic development strategy, it is hard to tell exactly how and when the current programs will change. These recent amendments, passed with broad bipartisan support, could be a sign that the next round of incentives will be focused on the “innovation economy.” Putting the State’s resources into higher paying, skill-based jobs, could be the future.

If interested in learning more about Grow NJ or other economic development incentive programs, please do not hesitate to contact Murphy Partners LLP at (973) 877-6984 or info@murphyllp.com. 

MURPHY PARTNERS LLP

Murphy Partners LLP is a boutique law firm specializing in real estate development and economic incentive advisory. Headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, the firm was founded to provide effective, efficient, and creative legal services to meet the distinctive needs of our clients. Through the development of comprehensive legal strategies, our team works tirelessly to create a blueprint for success and advance our clients’ interests in every matter.

Phil Murphy and Kim Guadagno Win Primary Elections

It’s official. Phil Murphy and Kim Guadagno will face off this November in a race to determine who will be New Jersey’s next governor.

Roosevelt J. Donat, Special Counsel and Director of Government Affairs at Murphy Partners LLP, celebrates with Phil Murphy, Democratic nominee for New Jersey governor.

Roosevelt J. Donat, Special Counsel and Director of Government Affairs at Murphy Partners LLP, celebrates with Phil Murphy, Democratic nominee for New Jersey governor.

Phil Murphy, the former U.S. ambassador to Germany under President Obama, won a highly anticipated victory to become the Democratic nominee for governor. In total, six candidates sought the Party’s nomination, including state Senator Raymond Lesniak, former federal prosecutor Jim Johnson, and state Assemblyman John Wisniewski. Ultimately, Murphy’s backing of all 21 Democratic county organizations, along with a well-organized team made up of some of New Jersey’s best political operatives, proved decisive.  

On the Republican side, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno won the Republican Party’s top spot, beating her closest competitor, state Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, by a decisive margin. In a hard-fought battle, Guadagno was one of five candidates seeking the Party’s nomination. Currently serving in her second term as New Jersey’s first lieutenant governor, Guadagno has spent the last eight years traveling the state, leading New Jersey’s economic development efforts.

Murphy and Guadagno will face off this November. In a state with 800,000 more registered Democrats, most observers give Murphy the edge. Nevertheless, Guadagno is a fierce campaigner and will prove to be a true competitor in the coming months.

We wish nothing but the best to both candidates and look forward to watching a hard-fought general election. The voters of New Jersey deserve nothing less.

MURPHY PARTNERS LLP

Murphy Partners LLP is a boutique law firm specializing in governmental affairs, economic incentive advisory, and land use and redevelopment law. Headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, the firm was founded to provide effective, efficient, and creative legal and government affairs services to meet the distinctive needs of our clients. Through the development of comprehensive legal and government affairs strategies, our team works tirelessly to create a blueprint for success and advance our clients’ interests in every matter.