Debating Urban Transit Tax Credits

New Jersey's Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit provided $1.5 billion in incentives for 13 projects, garnering mixed opinions over the past two years. Intended to build communities a half mile from transit, some question if it even works.

"The program has been amended twice. The major changes include reducing the capital investment needed to qualify to $50 million for a commercial property, making it easier for mixed-use developments to qualify, opening the program up to properties within a mile of freight rail lines, increasing the benefit for residential developments to 35 percent of the investment, and eliminating the automatic requirement that 20 percent of residential units be set aside as low- and moderate-income housing.

Two governors of different parties have had a hand in the program and both touted its benefits.

'The bill supports the revitalization of New Jersey's urban centers by leveraging valuable transit assets that provide a strong foundation for economic growth, while encouraging increased transit ridership,' said Gov. Jon Corzine in signing the law on Jan. 13, 2008. Gov. Chris Christie, in signing amendments to the UTHTC last July, said the changes would make an important program even better."

Full Story: Can Urban Transit Hubs Help Revitalize New Jersey's Cities?

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