This afternoon at a State House press conference in his outer office, Gov. Chris Christie signed into law the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013. The measure streamlines the state’s five business tax incentive programs into two. One will be focused on jobs and the other on development.

Governor's Office/Tim Larsen

“Today, I’m proud to make New Jersey an even more attractive place to do business,” says Christie. “It’s the development of private-sector employers and private-sector jobs that drives and will continue to drive New Jersey’s economic growth.”

The new law puts extra emphasis on spurring development and private sector job growth in “Garden State Growth Zones,” identified in the legislation as the four lowest median family income cities in the state: Camden, Trenton, Passaic City, and Paterson.

“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,” says Christie. “More and better-paying jobs are the keys to thriving cities, which are vital to the economic well-being of our entire state.”

Projects in the above mentioned cities will have lower eligibility thresholds and higher incentive levels. They will also be eligible to give property tax abatements for new development, allowing inner cities like Camden to spur development and compete with Philadelphia for private sector jobs and residential growth.