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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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N. Wildwood Puts Urban Enterprise Zone Board Back Together Anticipating New Funding

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By Other News Source

NORTH WILDWOOD – Newly available funding is causing municipalities, like North Wildwood, to reestablish Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) boards.  
According to a Press of Atlantic City report, the UEZ program, which began in 1983, was designed to encourage investment in communities. Within a UEZ, consumers only have to pay half of the normal state sales tax.
Communities also got a boost, because most of the money raised by that reduced state sales tax could be used on improvement projects in those communities.
That was until former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie diverted the money back to the state.
After that change, the zones remained tax havens for shoppers but the funding the program created to improve the communities dried up.
North Wildwood’s board stopped meeting. They had nothing to do, Mayor Patrick Rosenello told the Press of Atlantic City.
But now, a new law signed by Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver will bring funding back to these areas. 32 UEZ zones throughout the state will share $42.5 million this year. In future years, that number is expected to be $60 million to $80 million, Gina Trish a spokesperson for Oliver told the Press of Atlantic City. 
North Wildwood is part of one of the few combined UEZ’s in the state; it shares with Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and West Wildwood. 
Although it remains unclear what specifically the funds will be spent on, Rosenello told The Press he sees it as a way to boost economic revitalization efforts throughout the barrier islands.  

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