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New Legislation 2010


New Jersey's Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant ("BRRAG") Program Broadened


P.L. 2010, Chapter 123 was signed into law as on January 6, 2011, broadens the availability and revises the terms of financial assistance under New Jersey’s Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant (“BRRAG”) Program. This program, administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA”), helps a business preserve jobs, expand operations, and reinvest in the State through the award of tax credits against the corporation business tax and various taxes on insurers; the amount of the credits awarded is based upon the business’s investment, or its expansion or preservation of jobs, in the State.

The act eliminates the requirement that the amount of an individual grant of tax credits is limited to no more than 80 percent of projected State tax revenues from the retained full-time jobs.

The current annual cap of $20 million on the issuance of BRRAG credits is converted to a cap on the total amount of such credits that could applied against tax liability in a fiscal year. Also, a new annual cap of $10 million would be imposed on the total value of credits that a single business could apply against liability in a fiscal year.

The value of BRRAG credits for a business retaining more than 250 jobs is increased by authorizing awards in multiples of up to six times the current rate of $1,500 per employee, with the size of the multiple depending on the number of retained jobs. The bill requires such “multiple rate” awards to be taken in equal amounts over the appropriate number of years.

The law would now require that, as a precondition for the business’s ability to apply the credits against tax liability, the amount of State tax revenue resulting from retention of the business must at least equal the value of the credits. The class of businesses to which, as a “designated industry,” consideration may be given in determining the amount of a BRRAG award is broadened to include not only high technology businesses, but any business deemed desirable by the NJEDA to be maintained in the State.

Based upon this certification, the NJEDA would issue a certificate indicating the amount of credits that the business could use in a tax period. If a business failed to meet its jobs retention commitment, its credit award would be reduced proportionately and it would forfeit the unused credits.

The statute now authorizes the sale of BRRAG tax credits between “affiliated” businesses and a requirement that a study be conducted to determine the minimum funding level needed for successful implementation of the BRRAG program is repealed.

Economic Stimulus Act of 2009 Addendum 

P.L.2010, c.10, which was signed into law on May 5, 2010 and effective immediately however certain sections are retroactive to July 28, 2009 (the date of enactment of P.L.2009, c.90), and section 2, if enacted on or before June 30, 2010, shall apply to applications submitted for the 2010 Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program.

The act modifies provisions of the "New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act of 2009," P.L.2009, c.90 to ensure effective implementation.

The new law revises the definition of "biotechnology company" to clarify that only a company sufficiently involved in biotechnology may participate in the program. 

The act added to the definition of “qualifying economic redevelopment and growth grant incentive area,” a pinelands regional growth area established pursuant to the pinelands comprehensive management plan adopted pursuant to P.L.1979, c.111 (C.13:18A-1 et seq.).

This act also ensures that ordinances that are authorized to be adopted pursuant to the "New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act of 2009" (which would include those required under the ERGG provisions) will not be subject to delays from public referendum challenges in those municipalities in which general initiative and referendum is authorized. 

For a more in-depth view of the specifics of this new law, a copy of the Pamphlet Law may be downloaded here.

Renewal of Lapsed Alcoholic Beverage Retail Licenses

P.L.2010, c. 14, signed into law on May 6, 2010 and effective immediately, would extend the time period for renewal of lapsed alcoholic beverage retail licenses by permitting an issuing authority to issue a new retail license to a licensee who did not file a timely renewal application but files an application for a new license within one year after the expiration of the license renewal period. New license issuance is permissible subject to certain determinations of the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The licensee would be required to pay the municipal and State renewal fees for each year for which a timely renewal application was not filed.

The licensee must file the request no later than one year after the expiration of the license renewal period for the license which was not renewed in a timely manner. A filing fee of $100 is payable to the director for each license term.

A new license issued pursuant to this bill would be assigned the same license number as the lapsed license. The act establishes a grandfather clause for those licensees whose licenses expired within the five year period immediately preceding the date of this law’s enactment if the licensee applies for the new license within six months thereafter.

Temporary reduction of the annual cap imposed on the corporation business tax benefit certificate transfer program for high-tech and biotech companies and one-year suspension of the digital media tax credit

P.L. 2010, Chapter 20 which was signed on June 30, 2010 and became effective immediately, temporarily reduces the annual cap imposed on the corporation business tax benefit certificate transfer program available to certain technology and biotechnology companies from the its previous annual $60 million per year limitation to $30 million in State Fiscal Year 2011. It proportionally reduces the current set-aside for innovation zone-located companies under the program from $10 million per year to $5 million during the same period of time.

It also temporarily suspends the tax credits provided for qualified film and qualified digital media content production expenses under the corporation business and gross income taxes.  Finally, the new law requires the State Treasurer to make and file a report regarding the effectiveness of the transfer program and the ability of the tax credits to meet their statutory goals and objectives.

It should be noted that this new statute does not affect tax benefits associated with previously authorized certificates or certificates which may be authorized in future fiscal years.

Motor Fuels Tax Act

P.L. 2010, Chapter 22 was signed into law on June 30, 2010. The act is to take effect immediately; however, sections 1 through 21, 29 through 49, and 53 through 56 will remain inoperative until October 1, 2010.

This act, the “Motor Fuel Tax Act,” modernizes the system for assessing the taxes on highway motor vehicles. Those taxes are principally dedicated by the New Jersey Constitution to the costs of the State transportation system.

 This law changes the point of taxation of diesel fuel from the retail level to the level at which it is removed from the bulk fuel storage and distribution system of refineries, pipelines, ships and barges at a terminal. The new law also changes the point of taxation of gasoline from the distributor level to the terminal level.

The act includes requirements for transporting and labeling dyed fuel, and penalties for mishandling dyed (tax-exempt) fuel and for using dyed fuel in highway vehicles. The law also authorizes the co-collection of petroleum products gross receipts tax with the motor fuel taxes when that is feasible.

Reduction in Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

P.L.2010, Chapter 27 was signed into law on June 30, 2010 and effective immediately. It applies to taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2010.

Commencing with New Jersey gross income tax year 2010 and thereafter, this act reduces the benefit amount provided under the New Jersey earned income credit (EIC) program as a percentage of the federal earned income tax credit (EITC).

Previously, the State EIC program provided a refundable earned income tax credit equal to 25 percent of the federal EITC. This new law would reduce that amount to 20 percent of the federal benefit.

Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority Act

P.L.2010, c.51 was signed into law on August 17, 2010 and effective 45 days after its enactment, except that section 25 takes effect on the date that the authority, assumes all of the powers, rights, assets, and duties of the predecessor authority.

This law is to be known and cited as the “Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority Act.  It creates a new redevelopment agency, the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) and requires the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) to engage in new duties as well as creates several special-purpose districts.  This agency, which is in but not of the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, is responsible for the implementation of the revitalization effort.  This new law expands the powers of the EDA as the appropriate State agency to assist in plans for that redevelopment.

The act provides for the creation of special improvement districts, transportation districts and infrastructure districts. Within the district, at the discretion of the EDA, there may be 50% reduction to the State’s sales and use taxes on the receipts of retail sales and use taxes.  However, the sales of alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, manufacturing machinery, equipment or apparatus, energy (natural gas and electricity) are excluded from the 50% reduction so the tax is at the 7% rate.
 
The law further provides that the authority may adopt a resolution to levy and collect a franchise assessment within an infrastructure district not to exceed an amount equivalent to 50% of the tax imposed under the Sales and Use Tax Act with the intent of devoting the proceeds from those assessments to purposes of the district.

For a more in-depth view of the specifics of this new law, a copy of the Pamphlet Law may be downloaded here.

Revises the hotel and motel occupancy tax permitted to be imposed by municipalities    
       

P.L. 2010, Chapter 55, signed into law on August 18, 2010 and effective immediately upon its enactment, revises the hotel and motel occupancy tax permitted to be imposed by municipalities under P. L. 2003, c. 114.

This act amends section 7 of P. L. 2003, c. 114 (C.40:48F-5) to require the State Treasurer to include with the periodic distribution of tax revenue to each subject municipality, a list of all of the hotels and motels therein that submitted municipal occupancy tax revenue to the State for the reporting period.

The new law also requires every municipality that has adopted an ordinance imposing the occupancy tax to annually provide to the State Treasurer on or before January 1 of each year a list of the names and addresses of all of the hotels and motels located in the municipality, and also the name and address of any hotel or motel that commences operation after January 1 of any year.  This additional reporting requirement will aid in more effective tax administration.
           
Finally, this measure makes unpaid occupancy taxes a municipal lien on the real property comprising the delinquent hotel or motel which requires the State Treasurer to provide to a subject municipality written notification of nonpayment of local hotel motel taxes.  The municipality would then be authorized to act as the collection agent for the outstanding balance of taxes due and owing to it in place of the State Treasurer.    

Offshore Wind Economic Development Act

P.L. 2010, Chapter 57 which was signed into law on August 19, 2010 and effective immediately, creates the “Offshore Wind Economic Development Act” and establishes an offshore wind renewable energy certificate program, as well as authorizes the Economic Development Authority (EDA) to provide tax credits for qualified wind energy facilities in wind energy zones.

The new law provides corporation business tax credit in support of offshore wind energy programs with an expected power generation capacity of 20 to 25 megawatts. 
 
The tax credit program would finance 100% of capital costs for such programs in an amount not to exceed $100 million in the same manner that tax credits are to be provided under the Urban Transit Hub Tax Act (P.L. 2007, c. 236 (C. 34:1B-208 as amended by P.L. 2007, c. 346). 

This act does, however, allow the Economic Development Authority to exceed the $100 million ‘cap’ if “a business demonstrates to the authority, at the time of application, that the State's financial support of the proposed capital investment in a qualified wind energy facility will yield a net positive benefit to the State.” 

The Division must also ensure that the aggregate amount of these credits, in addition to any other Transit Hub Tax Credit Certificates approved in the future, do not exceed statutory maximums.  It is anticipated that the Division of Taxation will administer this measure in the same manner as it expects to administer any actual approved credit under the Urban Transit Hub Credit Program.

For a more in-depth view of the specifics of this new law, a copy of the Pamphlet Law may be downloaded here.

Motor Fuel Tax Technical Amendments

P.L.2010, c.79, which was signed into law on October 1, 2010 and effective immediately, makes a number of purely technical corrections, clarifies licensing requirements and fees, assures that heating oil dealers are not required to be licensed as motor fuel tax dealers and clarifies that fuel transporters are not among those required to pre-collect the tax. These changes were critical in the implementation of this new law.

For a more in-depth view of the specifics of this new law, a copy of the Pamphlet Law may be downloaded here.


Last Updated: Thursday, 02/03/11



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