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TRENTON, NJ-Under the provisions of a new bill on the docket in the New Jersey Assembly, tenants who lease space at certain shopping centers in the Garden State would receive a variety of tax breaks and other government assistance. Introduced by assemblyman William Baroni, a Republican from Hamilton Twp., the bill is officially named the Shopping Center Revitalization Act of 2004.

“This plan is designed to breathe new life into older shopping centers, and into our towns,” according to Baroni. He says the inspiration for the legislation comes from the number of older strip shopping complexes he’s seen deteriorate while new ones are being built around them.

The tax breaks and incentives would be offered to businesses, retail or otherwise, that sign new leases in shopping centers meeting three basic criteria: they have to be at least 10 years old; have more than 35,000 sf of building space; and have a vacancy rate of at least 35%.

With New Jersey’s legislature currently on summer break, action on the bill will not occur before late summer/early fall.

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