NJEDA Board Approves Rules for Aspire Development Tax Credit Program
On November 10, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) approved rules for the Aspire Program, a place-based economic development program created under the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA).The Aspire Program encourages mixed use, transit-oriented development in New Jersey by providing tax credits to commercial and residential development projects that have a financing gap.
The Board approved special adoption rules for the Aspire Program, which will go into effect immediately upon filing with the Office of Administrative Law and will remain in effect for 180 days. During this time, the NJEDA will propose the same rules as long-term rules and undertake the Administrative Procedures Act required 60-day public comment process. The Authority will begin accepting applications near the end of this calendar year, when Aspire’s predecessor program, the Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) Program, sunsets.
The amount of tax credits a project is eligible to receive is a percentage of the project’s eligible costs, subject to a cap that is determined by the project’s location, other financing available, and other aspects of the project. Most projects are eligible for tax credits up to $42 million, but projects that meet specific criteria may receive tax credits up to $60 million. Projects that qualify as “transformative projects” may receive tax credits up to $350 million.
To be eligible for Aspire Program tax credits, a project must be located in an eligible incentive location, which may include: Planning Area 1, Aviation District, Port District, or Planning Area 2 or other Designated Center that is within a half mile of a rail transit station or a high frequency bus stop. Film production projects may be located anywhere in the State.
Projects must also meet minimum size and cost thresholds. Commercial projects must include at least 100,000 square feet of retail or commercial space. Residential projects must have eligible project costs totaling $5 million to $17.5 million depending on location.
More information about these programs is available at https://njeda.com/economicrecoveryact.