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New bill would recognize Central Jersey as a tourism region

The bill designates counties like Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset and Mercer counties as part of Central Jersey "at a minimum.”

Lanette Espy and Jim Murdoch

Jul 5, 2023, 5:36 PM

Updated 353 days ago

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One of New Jersey's longest and most controversial debates is just about settled - does Central Jersey exist?
The Legislature moved forward Friday to create and designate Central Jersey on tourism maps. Now, all that waits is a signature from Gov. Phil Murphy, who already declared years ago that Central Jersey does in fact exist.
The bill designates counties like Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset and Mercer counties as part of Central Jersey "at a minimum.” The goal of the new bill is to promote Central Jersey businesses. The bill will increase state costs by up to $1 million to change the maps. But it's also expected to increase tax revenue from visitors to Central Jersey.
In Robbinsville, the township motto is “Be At The Center Of It All.” Some business owners and residents in the area believe creating an official Central Jersey will help.
Joe Clemente from the Dolce & Clemente's store says, “We are very close to the Turnpike. So, people always jump off the Turnpike Exit 7A which seems to be the 195 quarter across the center of the state from Trenton to Belmar. It is pretty much right in the center of the state.”
Anthony Bradley of Chambersburg says, “I think it's a good idea. Give them a little recognition. It's always north and south. In the middle never gets anything.”
Maggie Keris works at Keris Tree Farm and Christmas Shop says this is especially helpful for seasonal businesses.
“Gov. Murphy, sign it when you can,” she said.


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