In the final days of the lame-duck legislative session, Gov. Jon Corzine is pushing a bill to give tax credits of up to $75 million to companies that build or lease offices in urban centers within a half-mile of a transit station.
The measure to create "urban transit hubs" will have simultaneous hearings today in the Senate Budget and Assembly Appropriations committees. The seven-page bill, introduced two weeks ago, is expected to be voted on in both chambers Monday, the last day of the session.
"We're excited about the concept and we're really looking forward to answering questions the Senate and Assembly might have about it," said Gary Rose, chief of the Governor's Office of Economic Growth.
The bill is meant to expand on the idea of transit villages -- initiatives to curb urban sprawl by encouraging residential development in urban areas near mass transit -- and apply it to the corporate world. It would offer tax credits as an inducement to invest in offices in struggling cities rather than far-flung suburbs.
The Sierra Club isn't so happy with the idea and we always see folks that are skeptical of tax credits. Perhaps if the suburbs had to pay their fair share of infrastructure instead of the usual road freeloading, we wouldn't need incentives to lure companies to cities or to build more urban headquarters.