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The Urban Enterprise Zone is a State of New Jersey program that was established for a limited number of cities in 1983. In Passaic the UEZ program began in August of ’94. The program has been expanded a number of times whereas it now covers 34 NJ cities. The UEZ provides qualified businesses in designated zones certain state tax benefits as detailed herein. The program also provides a revenue source for the cities containing the UEZ’s. The revenues can be used by the cities for a variety of locally initiated programs to further help the UEZ businesses. Passaic currently receives about $1.2 million per year in these revenues.
The municipal UEZ is administered by a special entity set up specially for that purpose. In Passaic, the UEZ is administered by the Passaic Enterprise Zone Development Corporation.
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The UEZ boundary has to be both contiguous and contain under 30% of a city’s land area. Passaic’s UEZ boundary encompasses approximately 95% of all businesses within the city. It includes all the industrial areas and all the retail corridors.
Just fill out an application. You can download and print out the form on the Applications and Forms page. Once you submit it to the Passaic Enterprise Zone Development Corporation office in Passaic City Hall, the local coordinator will review the application and verify that your business is within the zone. Finally, your application is forwarded to the state for its review and approval.
About six weeks after you submit the application, the New Jersey Division of Taxation will send you a certificate allowing you to charge the 3.5% sales tax (if applicable) and tax-exempt forms to use to buy goods and services for your business tax free.
The process is simple. All you have to do is fill out the proper form (which you can get on the Applications and Forms page), send it to the UEZ and they will work with you on the rest. For more information, check out the Programs and Services page.
Urban Enterprise Zone certifications are good for one year. You need to recertify every year. The recertification form is mailed to you about a month before your year is up.
It is rare that a business that appropriately applies for recertification is denied. In those instances it is typically due to a lack of employment increases. Most businesses need to increase the number of people they have working for them after two years in the program.