Christie eyes changes for Urban Enterprise Zones
Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) is eyeing a big change for the state's 30 Urban Enterprise Zones. Shoppers in the zones pay 3.5 percent sales tax instead of the regular 7 percent sales tax. Money from the 30 zones currently goes back to municipalities to strengthen the local economy. Christie, though, is eyeing having the money go toward the state's budget. Assemblyman Gary Schaer says Christie's plan would defeat the purpose of the zones. Schaer says taking the funds away would cause a rise in unemployment and hurt businesses. A study in 2007 suggested that Urban Enterprise Zones created 150,000 jobs since they were created in the early 1980s. The state estimates the zones bring in about $91 million annually.