New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signs bill revamping business tax breaks

Published: 3:24 PM EDT Sep 18, 2013   Updated: 3:27 PM EDT Sep 18, 2013
Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed legislation changing how the state awards tax breaks to businesses and developers.

The bill consolidates New Jersey's five tax incentive programs into two -- one to give grants for creating jobs, the other to keep jobs from leaving the state.

"Not only will this bill encourage more companies to create jobs throughout New Jersey, it will also give an extra boost to some of our biggest cities," Christie said. "More and better-paying jobs are the keys to thriving cities, which are vital to the economic well-being of our entire state."

The bill signed Wednesday has gone through many changes since being introduced in January as lawmakers expanded its reach to south Jersey and relaxed restrictions for companies to participate.

Christie conditionally vetoed the version that reached his desk, but the Legislature agreed to pass the bill again with the governor's changes.

"When both parties work together, we can get big things done to make New Jersey’s economy stronger, and this bipartisan effort is a perfect example," Christie said. "The Economic Opportunity Act incentivizes job creation, makes our state more competitive and lets private sector employers know that New Jersey is the place where they should open their doors."

Environmentalists say the measure encourages sprawl, while other critics say it's too big a giveaway.