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Legislation Would Ease Losses for NJ Restaurants [AUDIO]

It would create a month-long, one-time sales tax collection exemption on meal purchases made in New Jersey restaurants.

Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

The legislation, to be introduced by Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, is designed to help ease monetary losses created by Hurricane Sandy and speed the economic recovery of the state’s restaurant industry.

“The state’s restaurant and dining industry took a massive hit during the storm with many operators unable to open since it made landfall. Unlike other industries, loss of time equals loss of revenue that is unrecoverable, unless special circumstances are created to boost sales,” said Diegnan. “Many restaurants are just coming back online and we have the holiday season coming up. I’d like to get this legislation passed as soon as possible so that we can entice people from New York City, Pennsylvania and surrounding areas to come into New Jersey and frequent the restaurants here. The idea is to get people in the seats and spend money.”

Under the proposed legislation, meal purchases made in New Jersey restaurants would not be subject to New Jersey sales or use taxes for 30 consecutive days.

“We all know how the economy has been. As a result, many restaurants already are hanging on by a thread and the aftermath from Sandy could be the death of them. Anything we as a state can do to keep them in business, we should try and do. It’s a small step and it could be a band-aid, but maybe a band-aid will at least inhibit the bleeding they’re experiencing,” said Diegnan. “This isn’t the only solution. Maybe for the shore communities, we can consider extending it for the entire summer, but for now, this is something we can do immediately.”

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