A concept drawing for the Xanadu/American Dreams Meadowlands mall project (Bob Hennelly/WNYC)
In order to grant corporate tax incentives to resurrect New Jersey's moribund Xanadu shopping complex, Governor Chris Christie needed the Democratically-controlled state legislature to follow through with legislation (pdf). The bill would grant at least $200 million in tax credits to a company to finish the stalled project -- now to be rebranded as American Dream Meadowlands.
And as WNYC's Bob Hennelly reports, that is not all that the bill does.
Democrats used the opportunity to radically alter the state's Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Act, which offers significant tax credits to developers undertaking residential construction near mass-transit in urban centers like Camden and Newark.
Under the current program, developers had to commit to set aside 20 percent of developments for affordable housing units for low and moderate income households. In return, they would get a state tax credit equivalent to 20 percent of the cost of their investment.
Under the new legislation, developers are now going to be able to get a 35 percent tax credit for their construction costs, and they will no longer be required to provide affordable housing.
Read Bob Hennelly's report here.