I am writing to both urge your editorial support and ask your readers to write letters concerning legislation (A10008/S322) currently pending in the state legislature that will extend the life of the State’s Urban Enterprise Zones (UEZ). This program is not only badly needed in Union City, but benefits Jersey City, Kearny, North Bergen, Guttenberg and West New York as well.
We have recently revitalized our UEZ program and given the business community greater input in the planning. By concentrating our efforts towards creating a diverse shopping and dining retail destination, we hope to take advantage of the cultural diversity which blesses our community. The UEZ program allows urban downtown shopping areas to compete with the suburban malls. Without that funding, they will wither and die over a period of time.
However, we cannot sustain this effort unless the revenues, which are derived from the three percent sales tax and directed back towards the city, along with the other benefits such as job creation and the location of new economic development in Union City, continue in the future.
That is why it is imperative that this legislation passes. In a landlocked community, such as Union City, where resources are scarce, generating economic growth is imperative if we are to enjoy any decent quality of life. The UEZ program fuels that growth.
I urge everyone to write to their legislator, the Governor, and the majority and minority leaders of the State Senate and Assembly in support of these bills. And, I urge the legislature to resist the efforts of bureaucrats to scuttle the program.
Finally, this is a wonderful opportunity for Acting Governor Donald DiFrancesco to send a signal to the urban areas that they will not suffer under his stewardship.
Brian P. Stack, Mayor