TRENTON, NJ-The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee yesterday approved a $65 million package of incentives for businesses that relocate within New Jersey. The package, added as a series of amendments to a pending budget bill, is squarely aimed at defending the Garden State against the business “poaching” tactics of other states, according to supporters of the legislation.

Approximately $20 million of that total would be set aside to provide business tax credits for companies relocating within the state. For companies with 500 employees or more, the credit would amount to $1,500 for each retained job. Companies moving at least 2,000 workers into one of the state’s urban enterprise zones would get an additional credit of $750 per job.

Another $20 million, meanwhile, would be utilized to expand the state’s technology tax transfer program, under which start-up technology-based companies can sell unused tax credits to other companies. The balance of the $65 million being set aside would go for sales tax exemptions for companies moving 500 or more employees to new headquarters locations in designated areas of the state, and for similar exemptions on energy costs generated by manufacturing companies in urban enterprise zones.

Lawmakers yesterday also agreed to reduce certain business-related taxes and fees, notably scrapping the petrochemical environmental impact fee outright. And a proposed increase in business taxes to pay for the cleanup of hazardous materials, originally set at $20 million, has been cut in half.

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