Bill Text: NJ A4700 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: "Food Desert Elimination Act"; provides incentives to supermarkets and grocery stores that locate in "food deserts."

Spectrum: Strong Partisan Bill (Democrat 13-1)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-01-17 - Received in the Senate, Referred to Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee [A4700 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-A4700-Amended.html

[First Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 4700

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED OCTOBER 29, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  CRAIG J. COUGHLIN

District 19 (Middlesex)

Assemblywoman  PATRICIA EGAN JONES

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblyman  RAJ MUKHERJI

District 33 (Hudson)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Quijano

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     "Food Desert Elimination Act"; provides incentives to supermarkets and grocery stores that locate in "food deserts."

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As reported by the Assembly Human Services Committee on December 3, 2018, with amendments.

 


An Act providing incentives to supermarkets and grocery stores in certain areas and supplementing P.L.1974, c.80 (C.34:1B-1 et seq.) and P.L.2013, c.63 (C.33:1-12.50 et seq.).

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the "Food Desert Elimination Act."

 

     2.    a.   The Legislature finds and declares that: (1) there are certain urban areas of the State, known as "food desert" communities, in which residents are unable to obtain reasonable and adequate access to nutritious foods and, in particular, to fresh fruits and vegetables; (2) the inaccessibility of nutritious food in urban food desert communities has been attributed, in large part, to the absence of supermarkets and grocery stores in those communities; (3) low-income families are more likely than others to live in urban food desert communities and to lack the transportation or financial resources necessary to reach distant wholesome markets; and (4) the establishment of financial incentives to supermarkets and grocery stores is a reasonable means by which to ensure that residents of urban food desert communities in the State are provided with reasonable access to nutritious, fresh, and delicious produce, and are afforded the opportunity thereby to make healthier eating choices for themselves and for their families.

     b.    The Legislature therefore determines that it is both reasonable and necessary to authorize the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to establish a program that provides incentives to supermarkets and grocery stores to establish and retain locations in urban food desert communities in order to provide a consistent, and easily accessible, source of fresh produce to residents in those communities.

 

     3.    As used in P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     "Authority" means the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

     "Department" means the Department of Agriculture.

     "Program" means the Food Desert Elimination Program established in section 4 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     "Special retail distribution permit" means a nontransferable permit to sell any alcoholic beverages for consumption 1[of] off1 the permitted premises1,1 as described in section 10 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     "Supermarket or grocery store" means a retail facility of at least 18,000 square feet, of which at least 90 percent is occupied by a full-service supermarket or grocery store.

     "Urban food desert community" or "community" means a physically contiguous urban area in the State in which residents have limited access to nutritious foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, through supermarkets and grocery stores 1[as] and which has been1 designated 1as such1 pursuant to subsection b. of section 4 of P.L.     , c.     (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     4.    a.   There is established the Food Desert Elimination Program to be administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.  The program shall include tax credit components, as provided in sections 5 and 6 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        and C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and a retail alcoholic beverage permit component, as provided in sections 7 and 10 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        and C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), in order to incentivize 1[businesseses] businesses1 to establish and then retain new supermarkets and grocery stores in urban food desert communities.

     b.    The authority, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, shall 1initially1 designate 1[the physically contiguous] not more than 75 separate1 urban areas that 1are most in need of a supermarket or grocery store1 1[qualify]1 as urban food desert communities in this State.  1The authority shall develop criteria for the designation of urban food desert communities, but each separate food desert community shall consist of a distinct geographic area with a single defined border.  The criteria shall, at a minimum, incorporate analysis of municipal or census tract population size and population density, municipal or census tract poverty statistics, food desert information from the United States Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, and healthier food retail tract information from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The authority may designate additional urban food desert communities once every three years following the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).1

 

     5.    a.  For privilege periods beginning on or after January 1 next following the effective date of P.L.     , c.     (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), a taxpayer that establishes and opens for business to the public 1[a] the first1 supermarket or grocery store in 1[an] a designated1 urban food desert community, and that meets the requirements of this section and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, and for the three privilege periods next following the initial opening, shall be allowed a credit against the tax due pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1945, c.162 (C.54:10A-5) in an amount equal to the total amount the taxpayer is assessed in property taxes by the municipality in which the supermarket or grocery store is located during the full privilege period for the property where that supermarket or grocery store is open for business to the public.

     b.    (1)     To qualify for the tax credit allowed pursuant to this section, a taxpayer shall apply to the authority for a certification, and the application shall include the following:

     (a)   from the department, a certification that the taxpayer qualifies as a supermarket or grocery store, as defined in section 3 of P.L.     , c.     (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), 1[and]1 is located in an urban food desert community designated pursuant to subsection b. of section 4 of P.L.     , c.     (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) 1, and is the first supermarket or grocery store to be established and opened for business in that designated food desert community after the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)1; and

     (b)   from the municipality in which the supermarket or grocery store is located, a certification of the amount of property tax the taxpayer is assessed for the applicable privilege period pursuant to subsection a. of this section.

     (2)   The order of priority of the application of the credit allowed pursuant to this section and any other credits allowed against the tax imposed pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1945, c.162 (C.54:10A-5) for a privilege period shall be as prescribed by the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury.  The amount of the credit applied pursuant to this section against the tax imposed pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1945, c.162 (C.54:10A-5), shall not reduce a taxpayer's tax liability for a privilege period to an amount less than the statutory minimum provided in subsection (e) of section 5 of P.L.1945, c.162 (C.54:10A-5).  Any credit shall be valid in the privilege period in which the certification is approved and any unused portion thereof may be carried forward into the next 10 privilege periods or until depleted, whichever is earlier.

 

     6.    a.  For taxable years beginning on or after January 1 next following the effective date of P.L.     , c.     (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), a taxpayer that establishes and opens for business to the public 1[a] the first1 supermarket or grocery store in 1[an] a designated1 urban food desert community, and that meets the requirements of this section and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, and for the three taxable years next following the initial opening, shall be allowed a credit against the tax due pursuant to N.J.S.54A:1-1 et seq., in an amount equal to the total amount the taxpayer is assessed in property taxes by the municipality in which the supermarket or grocery store is located during the full tax year for the property where that supermarket or grocery store is open for business to the public.

     b.    (1)     To qualify for the tax credit allowed pursuant to this section, a taxpayer shall apply to the authority for a certification, and the application shall include the following:

     (a)   from the department, a certification that the taxpayer qualifies as a supermarket or grocery store, as defined in section 3 of P.L.     , c.     (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), 1[and]1 is located in an urban food desert community designated pursuant to subsection b. of section 4 of P.L.     , c.     (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) 1, and is the first supermarket or grocery store to be established and opened for business in that designated food desert community after the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        and C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)1; and

     (b)   from the municipality in which the supermarket or grocery store is located, a certification of the amount of property tax the taxpayer is assessed for the applicable taxable year pursuant to subsection a. of this section.

     (2)   The order of priority of the application of the credit allowed pursuant to this section and any other credits allowed against the tax imposed pursuant to N.J.S.54A:1-1 et seq. for a taxable year shall be as prescribed by the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury.  The amount of the credit applied pursuant to this section against the tax imposed pursuant to N.J.S.54A:1-1 et seq. shall not reduce a taxpayer's tax liability for a taxable year to an amount less than zero.  Any credit shall be valid in the taxable year in which the certification is approved and any unused portion thereof may be carried forward into the next 10 taxable years or until depleted, whichever is earlier.

     c.     A business entity that is classified as a partnership for federal income tax purposes shall not be allowed the credit directly under N.J.S.54A:1-1 et seq., but the amount of credit of the taxpayer in respect of a distributive share of partnership income shall be determined by allocating to the taxpayer that proportion of the credit acquired by the partnership that is equal to the taxpayer's share, whether or not distributed, of the total distributive income or gain of the partnership for its taxable year ending within or with the taxpayer's taxable year.

     A taxpayer that is a New Jersey S corporation shall not be allowed the credit directly under N.J.S.54A:1-1 et seq., but the amount of credit of a taxpayer in respect of a pro rata share of S corporation income shall be determined by allocating to the taxpayer that proportion of the credit acquired by the New Jersey S corporation that is equal to the taxpayer's share, whether or not distributed, of the total pro rata share of S corporation income of the New Jersey S corporation for its taxable year ending within or with the taxpayer's taxable year.

 

     7.    1[After consultation with the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control in the Department of Law and Public Safety, the Division of State Police, and the municipality in which a supermarket or grocery store that qualfies for incentives under the program is located, the] The1 New Jersey Economic Development Authority 1[may] shall1 direct the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control to issue, consistent with section 10 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), a special retail distribution permit to one or more individual corporations or other types of legal entities operating 1[a] the first1 supermarket or grocery store 1established and opened for business in each designated urban food desert community after the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        and C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)1 that qualifies for incentives under the program.

 

     8.    The authority, in consultation with the department, the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury, the Superintendent of State Police, and the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 1(1C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     9.    Within one year of the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and for the next three years thereafter, the authority shall annually submit a report to the Governor, the State Treasurer, and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), the Legislature, on the effectiveness of the tax credit in establishing supermarkets and grocery stores in urban food desert communities.

 

     10.    a.   The Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, upon the direction of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority 1[and the approval of the municipal governing body by ordinance, may] pursuant to section 7 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), shall1 issue a special retail distribution permit to an individual corporation or other type of legal entity for use in connection with the operation of a supermarket or grocery store established and located within an "urban food desert community" designated pursuant to subsection b. of section 4 of P.L.     , c.      (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  The permit shall entitle the holder to sell alcoholic beverages in original containers for consumption off the premises of the supermarket or grocery store.

     A permit issued pursuant to this section shall 1be restricted to the premises of the supermarket or grocery store for which the permit was issued, and shall1 not be transferred for use in connection with another premises.

     b.    The restriction concerning the number of plenary retail distribution licenses that may be issued in a municipality pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1947, c.94 (C.33:1-12.14) and the limitation on the acquisition of alcoholic beverages licenses pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1962, c.152 (C.33:1-12.31) shall not be applicable to a permit issued pursuant to this section.

     c.     The fee for the initial issuance of a permit issued pursuant to this section shall be based upon the average sales price of plenary retail distribution licenses in the municipality during the five years immediately preceding the enactment of P.L.     , c.      (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  If less than three plenary retail distribution licenses have been sold in the municipality within the previous five years, the municipality shall obtain an appraisal, at the applicant's expense, to determine the appropriate fair market value of the permit.  The appraisal process shall include an examination of previous transactions in the municipality, as the case may be, and shall reflect what a willing buyer, under no pressure to buy, would pay a willing seller, under no pressure to sell, for a plenary retail distribution license in the municipality.  The initial issuance fee established pursuant to this section for a special retail distribution permit shall be reduced by the fair market value of the limitation on transferability, as set forth in subsection a. of this section.

     d.    A special retail distribution permit issued pursuant to this section shall not be issued to any person who would not qualify as a plenary retail distribution licensee pursuant to Title 33 of the Revised Statutes and rules and regulations of the director.

     e.     Except as otherwise provided by this section, a permit shall  be used in a manner consistent with a plenary retail distribution license issued pursuant to R.S.33:1-12 and shall be subject to any other fees and regulations promulgated by the director.

 

     11.  This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month next following enactment, except that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control may take administrative action in advance as necessary to effectuate the bill.

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