The New Jersey Economic Development Agency (NJEDA) has announced a new program to address food insecurity across the state. The Food Desert Relief Program will provide up to $40 million per year in tax credits, loans, grants and technical assistance to businesses that establish and retain new supermarkets and grocery stores in NJEDA-designated food desert communities.
The NJEDA will identify up to 50 eligible communities and incentivize developers and owners/operators of supermarkets and grocery stores with the following tax benefits:
- Owners/operators can receive tax credits up to 100 percent of initial operating costs for the first supermarket/grocery store and up to 50 percent of initial operating costs for the second within the first three years after opening to the public.
- Developers can receive tax credits up to 40 percent of the total project cost for the first supermarket/grocery store and up to 20 percent for the second.
To receive tax credits through the Food Desert Relief Program, a supermarket or grocery store must:
- Be a retail outlet with at least 16,000 square feet where 90 percent of space is occupied by food and related products.
- Be the first or second supermarket or grocery store in a designated food desert community.
- Commit to accept benefits from federal nutrition assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
In addition to tax credits, the program will also provide grants and loans for food retailers of all sizes to fund equipment, technology, and initiatives that ensure the food security of residents within designated food desert communities.
For more information on the Food Desert Relief Program, please contact your Grassi tax advisor, Dorothy McAuliffe, Senior Tax Manager, at 914.849.0334 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Matthew McCullough, Senior Tax Controversy Manager, at 516.336.2433 or email@example.com.