Law and Lobbying

New Jersey Incentive Update - November 2018

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This morning, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will hold its monthly board meeting. Among the actions to be taken, the Board will adopt new rules for the Film & Digital Media Tax Credit Program, and consider three applications under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (Grow NJ).

Created by legislation passed earlier this year, the Film & Digital Media Tax Credit Program will allow for taxpayers (in most cases, production companies) to seek a tax credit for qualified film production and digital media content production expenses. Applications will be approved by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury. Approved applicants are entitled to claim a credit against CBT or GIT liability in an amount equal to 30 percent (35 percent in limited cases) of the qualified film production expenses or 20 percent (25 percent in limited cases) of the qualified digital media content production expenses.

Created under the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (Grow NJ) is the State’s main job creation and retention incentive program. Under the Grow NJ program, businesses creating or retaining jobs in the State may be eligible for tax credits ranging from $500 to $5,000 per job, per year; with bonus credits ranging from $250 to $3,000 per job, per year (awards vary based on applicable criteria).

The Grow NJ program has been wildly popular and incredibly successful. Since its implementation, 250 projects have received awards, totaling over $4.7 billion in tax credits. Approved applicants generally have three years to certify, or complete, a project. A project is deemed complete when the applicant has hired or retained the number of employees listed in its application, and satisfied the program’s capital investment requirements. Once certified, the 250 projects will drive over $4.5 billion in private capital investment, create over 32,000 new jobs, and retain over 35,000 jobs at risk of leaving the State.

If interested in learning more about these programs, please do not hesitate to contact Chris Murphy at (973) 877-6984 or cmurphy@murphyllp.com.  

MURPHY PARTNERS LLP

Murphy Partners LLP is a boutique law firm specializing in real estate, development, and economic incentive advisory. With offices in Newark, New Jersey and New York City, 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: Governor Murphy Signs the ERG Bond Financing Act

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On August 17, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant Bond Financing Act (P.L. 2018, c. 97), which creates a mechanism to finance projects under the Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) Program.

Created under the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, the ERG program is the State’s primary incentive for developers. Pursuant to the program rules, a developer that can demonstrate that its redevelopment project requires a subsidy to close a project financing gap may apply for a grant equaling no more than 20% of the total cost of a project (30% in a Garden State Growth Zone), of which the developer must make a 20% equity investment.

In accordance with a redevelopment incentive grant agreement, beginning upon the receipt of occupancy permits for any portion of the redevelopment project, the developer will receive incremental State revenues directly realized from businesses operating on or at the site of the redevelopment project. The developer may apply for an incentive grant in the amount up to 75% of the annual incremental tax revenues generated by the project over a 20 year period. If the redevelopment project is located within a Garden State Growth Zone, 85% of the projected annual incremental revenues may be pledged toward the award.

Prior to the enactment of the ERG Bond Financing Act, developers receiving awards under the ERG program were required to seek financing for up-front costs associated with the project, as the ERG payments were unavailable until the project had been fully completed and certified. The ERG Bond Financing Act creates a mechanism for developers to monetize an ERG award by allowing the municipality in which a project is located to (either directly or through an application to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority or similar public instrumentality of the State) issue bonds secured by a pledge of the ERG grant payments, and further secured by municipal liens and/or special assessments on the property benefiting from the improvements. This will allow developers to finance the up-front costs associated with construction, without having to seek gap financing.

If interested in learning more about state and local development incentives, please do not hesitate to contact Murphy Partners LLP at (973) 723-7036 or info@murphyllp.com.  

MURPHY PARTNERS LLP

Murphy Partners LLP is a boutique law firm specializing in real estate, development, and economic incentive advisory. With offices in Newark, New Jersey and New York City, 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.

The Importance of a Proactive Government Affairs Strategy in Light of a Changing Administration

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As the smoke clears after a long battle, New Jersey will have a new governor on January 16, 2018. Yesterday, Phil Murphy defeated Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno in a race to succeed Governor Chris Christie as New Jersey’s 56th governor. Winning the race by 13 percentage points, Murphy will take office with large majorities in both the senate and the assembly. Having campaigned on a progressive platform, the new administration is likely to work quickly with members in the legislature to implement its agenda.  

The next few months will be filled with the excitement of the transition: the Governor-elect putting together a transition team, selecting key positions within the front office, and working to identify individuals to fill the 15 cabinet-level or principal departments in the state’s executive branch.

Having spent years in Trenton as part of two executive branch agencies, I can tell you from firsthand experience that the importance of a proactive government affairs strategy is often overlooked. Too many times, I sat in meetings with organizations or businesses who were fighting from behind. Had they simply paid attention while the legislature passed a law, or an executive branch agency promulgated a rule, that materially impacted their business, they may have been able to influence the process. Whether because of a lack of knowledge, or a limited understanding of the process, they would find themselves in a compromised position.

While everyone likes certainty, smart organizations and businesses find opportunity in change. New leadership leads to new policy. Whether the issue is clean energy, the legalization of marijuana, or the raising of the state’s minimum wage, it is important to have a say in the conversation.   

Chris J. Murphy is a partner in the governmental affairs group at Murphy Partners LLP, a boutique law firm located in Newark, New Jersey. He can be reached at (973) 723-7036 or cmurphy@murphyllp.com.

New Jersey Incentive Update - October 2017

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On Thursday, October 12, 2017, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) held its monthly board meeting in Trenton. Among the actions taken, the Board considered applications under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (Grow NJ). The Board also considered the issuance of bonds, loans, and guarantees for multiple applicants.

Grow New Jersey Assistance Program

The Board approved four applications under the Grow NJ program, totaling $49,000,000 in tax credits. Once certified, the four projects will create or retain full-time jobs in Paterson, Jersey City, Edison, and Englewood Cliffs.

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.” N.J.S.A. 34:1B-244(a).

Determination of the size of an award is based on the project’s location, the corresponding capital investment, and the jobs created or retained at a qualified business facility. Applicants must demonstrate that the project will yield a net positive benefit to the State and must indicate that the award of tax credits under the program is a material factor in the business decision to make a capital investment and locate in the State. N.J.S.A. 34:1B-244(b)(3).

The Grow NJ program has been wildly popular and incredibly successful. Since its implementation, 232 projects have received awards, totaling over $4.4 billion in tax credits. Once certified, the 232 projects will drive over $3.9 billion in private capital investment, create over 28,000 new jobs, and retain over 30,000 jobs at risk of leaving the State.

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.

 

NJBIZ Op-ed: The Importance of Business Incentive Programs in a Changing Economy

A recent op-ed in NJBIZ, written by Chris J. Murphy, on the importance of business incentive programs in a changing economy. 

http://www.njbiz.com/article/20170905/INDINSIGHTS/170909960/the-importance-of-business-incentive-programs-in-a-changing-economy

Murphy Partners LLP Featured in Real Estate NJ

New Jersey Incentive Update - August 2017

On Tuesday, August 8, 2017, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) held its monthly board meeting in Trenton. Among the actions taken, the Board considered applications under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (Grow NJ). The Board also considered the issuance of bonds, loans, and guarantees for multiple applicants.

Grow New Jersey Assistance Program

The Board approved seven applications under the Grow NJ program, totaling over $79,000,000 in tax credits. Once certified, the seven projects will create or retain full-time jobs in Pennsauken, Cranbury, Lawrenceville, Lakewood, Paterson, Vineland, and Bridgewater.

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.” N.J.S.A. 34:1B-244(a).

Determination of the size of an award is based on the project’s location, the corresponding capital investment, and the jobs created or retained at a qualified business facility. Applicants must demonstrate that the project will yield a net positive benefit to the State and must indicate that the award of tax credits under the program is a material factor in the business decision to make a capital investment and locate in the State. N.J.S.A. 34:1B-244(b)(3).

The Grow NJ Program has been wildly popular and incredibly successful. Since its implementation, 229 projects have received awards, totaling over $4.4 billion in tax credits. Once certified, the 229 projects will drive over $3.9 billion in private capital investment, create over 28,000 new jobs, and retain over 30,000 jobs at risk of leaving the State.

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.

New Jersey Incentive Update - July 2017

On Thursday, July 13, 2017, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) held its monthly board meeting in Trenton. Among the actions taken, the Board considered applications under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (Grow NJ). The Board also considered the issuance of bonds, loans, and guarantees for multiple applicants.

Grow New Jersey Assistance Program

The Board approved five applications under the Grow NJ program, totaling over $72,000,000 in tax credits. Once certified, the five projects will create or retain full-time jobs in Secaucus, Hoboken, Nutley, Jersey City, and Vineland.

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.” N.J.S.A. 34:1B-244(a).

Determination of the size of an award is based on the project’s location, the corresponding capital investment, and the jobs created or retained at a qualified business facility. Applicants must demonstrate that the project will yield a net positive benefit to the State and must indicate that the award of tax credits under the program is a material factor in the business decision to make a capital investment and locate in the State. N.J.S.A. 34:1B-244(b)(3).

The Grow NJ Program has been wildly popular and incredibly successful. Since its implementation, 228 projects have received awards, totaling over $4.3 billion in tax credits. Once certified, the 228 projects will drive over $3.8 billion in private capital investment, create over 28,000 new jobs, and retain over 28,000 jobs at risk of leaving the State.

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.

Legislation Introduced to Amend the Grow NJ Program

On Monday, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo introduced legislation (S3305) to amend the State’s main corporate tax incentive program. Among other things, the bill addresses issues related to the transfer and sale of tax credits under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (“Grow NJ”).

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.” N.J.S.A. 34:1B-244(a).

Determination of the size of an award is based on the project’s location, the corresponding capital investment, and the jobs created or retained at a qualified business location. Applicants must demonstrate that the project will yield a net positive benefit to the State and must indicate that the award of tax credits under the program is a material factor in the business decision to make a capital investment and locate in the State. N.J.S.A. 34:1B-244(b)(3).

Upon project completion and certification, Grow NJ tax credits can be applied against corporate business tax (“CBT”) liability. Because, in most cases, only C corporations have CBT liability, businesses structured in other forms (e.g., S corporation, LLC, LLP, etc.) must sell or assign, fully or partially, CBT credits to monetize the incentive. In lieu of applying the tax credits against the businesses own tax liability, the business may apply for a tax credit transfer certificate to sell or assign the credits. Currently, the Grow NJ program bars the tax credits from being sold for less than 75 percent of their value. N.J.A.C. 19:31-18.13(b).

Notably, while businesses are permitted to sell their unused tax credits, due to a discount associated with the sale and certain tax liability applied to the proceeds, the actual amount realized by the original recipient is almost certainly less than the amount of the original tax credit award, reducing the economic development power of the incentive.

Realizing that this may become an issue as more recipients of Grow NJ awards seek to sell there unusable tax credits, Senator Sarlo’s bill provides solutions aimed at eliminating this concern. 

First, the bill amends provisions related to the tax liability associated with the sale of unused tax credits. Currently, the gain realized from the sale of tax credits is considered income, imposing the State’s gross income tax on the seller, greatly reducing the value of the tax credit. The bill would exclude the gain or income derived from the sale or assignment, so that those businesses which cannot apply the tax credit to their tax liability may receive gains closer to the original incentive amount.

In addition, the bill would extend the time period in which a purchaser may use the tax credits. Currently, a purchaser may only apply the tax credits for up to three years, as opposed to carrying them forward for 20 years, as is the case for the original recipient. The bill extends the time period for the purchaser to 20 years. The bill also removes the requirement that the tax credits must be sold for 75 percent of their value in the case of a sale or assignment to an affiliate business of the original tax credit awardee.

The Grow NJ program has been wildly popular and incredibly successful. Since its implementation, 233 projects have received awards, totaling over $4.4 billion in tax credits. Once certified, the 233 projects will drive over $3.9 billion in private capital investment, create over 29,000 new jobs, and retain over 28,000 jobs at risk of leaving the State.  

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.

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.