The auction would sell tax credits for roughly 90 cents on the dollar, offering companies a tax break and diverting the tax revenue to the new fund. While developing the fund is within the purview of the state’s Economic Development Authority, auctioning the tax credits requires legislative approval. However, the governor is optimistic he will have support, according to The New York Times.
The IEF is a key component of the plan’s innovation agenda, called NJ Innovate. Other elements of this plan include expanding a program that makes incubator and co-working spaces more affordable for startups, providing gap financing to create more collaborative workspaces, and working to embed university researchers into these spaces. A pilot program would partner with suburban communities to plan for the repositioning of assets like office parks and malls to work better in the innovation economy. Other programs include NJ Talent, a comprehensive suite of talent retention and workforce development programs, such as STEM education, internships, apprenticeships, and job training initiatives. The plan also touches on the importance of renewable energy to economic development, especially opportunities in offshore wind energy and solar power.