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Governor Vetoes Historic Property Reinvestment Act

February 18, 2011

Helmetta Snuff Mill, Helmetta NJ

Despite enjoying  bi-partisan support, the Historic Property Reinvestment Act was vetoed today by Governor Christie. In a press release, the Governor called the bill, which was part of a 14 bill package, a “one-shot effort that sounds good in a press release”  and said the state “must truly demonstrate a real commitment to fiscal responsibility.” If enacted, the bill would have created a tax credit to spur the redevelopment of designated historic buildings in New Jersey. 31 other states offer some form of historic preservation tax credit. New Jersey Future supported the bill, and offered testimony in its favor to the Senate State Budget and Appropriations Committee in December. That testimony is excerpted below:

The Historic Property and Reinvestment Act helps accomplish all of these goals. By jumpstarting investment in historic properties, it spurs economic development, job creation and neighborhood revitalization. Moreover, by reusing or “recycling” already developed properties, the Act provides a sustainable alternative to sprawl development on farmland and forests. Experience from other states shows that these benefits come at no net cost to the state; for example, in Rhode Island for every dollar invested in the historic preservation tax credit, $5.47 in total economic output was created. Properties are added to the municipal tax rolls, generating new property, sales and income tax receipts.

The Historic Property and Reinvestment Act will grow our economy through new jobs and stronger neighborhoods, and we urge its speedy passage.

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