What is an Urban Enterprise Zone?
The Kearny Urban Enterprise Zone is a NJ UEZ Authority approved, designated area of Kearny comprised of the majority of its retail, commercial, manufacturing and industrial base. The area is targeted as having the greatest potential to achieve economic growth, development, and revitalization. The Zone is the hotbed from which the Town nurtures increased business activity, and targets its development and redevelopment efforts.
What are Kearny’s Designated Zone Boundaries?
The Zone is approximately 1,193 acres, 1.86 sq. mi. or 20% of Kearny’s landmass. Essentially, it consists of all, or parts of: the South Kearny Peninsula, Kearny/Passaic/Midland/Schuyler Avenues, the Belleville Turnpike, Newark-Jersey City Turnpike (Harrison Ave.), the Sellers/O’Brien Street area, and areas east of Schuyler Ave. Since specific areas of the Zone boundary are too expansive to list, contact the KUEZ to verify a site’s location within the Zone.
Does a town receive any money from the program?
Not directly, however, the 3½% sales tax, or parts thereof, collected by program retailers is placed in a local zone assistance fund that the local Urban Enterprise Zone Program can use to improve its community in an effort to further the municipality’s economic growth and development. A project proposed or planned on behalf of the town using KUEZ funds must first be reviewed, and approved, by Kearny’s Enterprise Zone Development Corporation, and then be brought before the Town’s Mayor and Council for its approval. The project request is then submitted to the NJ Urban Enterprise Zone Authority, and if it fits within certain guidelines determined by State Statute and the policies adopted by the NJ Urban Enterprise Zone Authority, it is reviewed by this entity. However, a project cannot be funded unless this Authority approves it. Project areas can include physical improvements within the zone area, infrastructure improvements, business loan programs, public safety and beautification initiatives, and projects focused on the enhancement of the town’s primary commercial and industrial districts.
Since Fiscal Year 2011, which began on July 1, 2010, the administration in Trenton stopped crediting the New Jersey Sales Tax collected in UEZ towns and cities to the Zone Assistance Fund and the Zone Administration Fund. The New Jersey Sales Tax collected in UEZ towns and cities has since gone instead to the State General Fund. Because of this decision, all UEZ’s have not received any funding since July 1, 2010.
How much money has actually been deposited through local sales tax retention?
As of January 1, 2011, over $26,000,000 has been accumulated for KUEZ projects through the collection of the 3½% state sales tax, or parts thereof. This includes nearly $24 million in actual Sales Tax Collections and almost $2.4 million in Interest Earned. As of this same date, about $2.3 million in sales tax revenues has been collected and allocated for the local administration of the KUEZ program. This funding is allocated to pay for all KUEZ salaries as well as expenses associated with day-to-day operations of the program; with no impact on Kearny’s property taxpayers. Since the 2011 Fiscal Year, which started on July 1, 2010, Kearny’s share and retention of the state sales tax collected locally has been reduced from 3½% to 0%. Kearny’s 3½% loss in revenue now goes directly to the NJ State Treasury.
What contributions/investments are made through the KUEZ Program?
KUEZ members, both active and inactive have employed over 10,000 full-time employees and in excess of 1,500 part-time employees. Collectively, including the 162 KUEZ active members have created in excess of 2,000 new full-time and over 50 part-time jobs. Further, KUEZ Zone participants have privately invested over $400,000,000 in capital investment revenues since the program began. Over $30 million in revenue generated through the KUEZ program, has been invested to bolster Kearny’s business community by way of 93 KUEZ projects. These projects include infrastructure enhancements, streetscape textures, zone security and public safety, public health, redevelopment, retail development, and beautification.
What are some of the significant dates for the Kearny UEZ?
The Kearny Urban Enterprise Zone was approved December 26, 1985, and became effective on January 16, 1986. Kearny retailers became eligible to charge consumers 50% of the NJ State Sales Tax on November 27, 1992. The Kearny Zone Expiration Date is December 31, 2023.