A conversation with. Caren S. Franzini, CEO, New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA)
"We are very proud of our fiscal budget. The fiscal year 2008 state budget enacted by Governor Corzine provides a $275 million business tax cut through the elimination of the corporate business tax on subchapter S-corporations and repeal of the alternative minimum assessment and reinstatement of net-operating-loss deductions."
A. Areas that have shown the most activity include research and development and technology, "portfields," and financial services. In December 2006, Governor Jon Corzine signed legislation that provided $270 million in funding to build stem cell research facilities across the state. That included $150 million for a Stem Cell Institute in New Brunswick; $50 million to build stem cell research facilities at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark; $50 million for a biomedical research center in Camden operated by a consortium of Rutgers, Coriell Institute of Medical Research, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Camden, and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey; $10 million for the Garden State Cancer Center in Belleville, and $10 million for the Eli Katz Umbilical Cord Blood Program in Allendale. The governor is working hard with the legislature to approve a referendum in November for $450 million for research funds. Research is critically important because of the predominance of headquarters of pharmaceutical firms and research universities in our state.
"Portfields" development is another area of concentration to promote and redevelop our ports, with sites running from Kearny in the north to Perth Amboy in the south. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and other state agencies are working with us to promote road access and drive the expansion and modernization of warehousing and distribution functions in the Port District. Several major developers have already shown interest in Portfield redevelopment projects, including ProLogis in Woodbridge and Carteret, Panattoni in Cartaret, the Morris Companies in Linden and Perth Amboy, and J.G. Petrucci in Edison.
Financial services is another active area. This is evidenced in Jersey City with Paribas North America, Inc.'s $22 million investment in a project that will result in 600 jobs, and Automatic Data Processing's $1.7 million project, estimated to relocate 175 jobs from Lower Manhattan as its Brokerage Service Division becomes an independent publicly traded company.
Q. How has recent legislation and incentives affected business?
A. We are very proud of our fiscal budget. The fiscal year 2008 state budget enacted by Governor Corzine provides a $275 million business tax cut through the elimination of the corporate business tax on subchapter S-corporations and repeal of the alternative minimum assessment and reinstatement of net-operating-loss deductions. The budget provides full funding of the $152 million recommended for the Business Employment Incentive Program in fiscal year 2008.
Besides legislation and business incentive grants, the EDA in the first two-thirds of 2007 has closed more than $330 million in financing assistance with more than 160 businesses, nonprofits, and municipalities, projects that are expected to result in the creation of over 1,300 new jobs and the investment of more than $700 million in New Jersey's economy.