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The state will soon auction up to $10 million in Corporation Business Tax and Insurance Premiums Tax credits at a discount of up to 15% to any business with tax liabilities of $500,000 or more to support programs to make nutritious food more accessible and affordable. 

The proceeds of the monthlong tax credit auction will fund future grants, loans and/or technical assistance programs that support food security in New Jersey’s 50 designated Food Desert Communities (FDCs). More than 1.5 million New Jerseyans live in these food deserts where regular access to healthy food is hindered by factors such as the absence of supermarkets, poor public transit, low internet use, and high poverty rates. 

At 11 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 21, NJBIA will host an hourlong webinar with officials from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, who will go over the details of the tax credit auction, including eligibility criteria, application requirements, and the bid review process.  

The Food Desert Relief Tax Credit Auction (FDRTC Auction) application process opens at 10 a.m. on Sept. 18.  A sample application and details about the auction process can be found here. Questions may be submitted to until Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 5 p.m. Answers will be posted no later than Monday, Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. 

The NJEDA board approved rules for the $240 million Food Desert Relief Tax Credit Program in April, as well as the auction of up to $50 million of the $240 million in tax credits in 2023. Auction proceeds will be used to fund programs that provide grants, loans, and technical assistance initiatives to support development and operation of new supermarkets in FDCs. 

“The NJEDA is committed to fighting food insecurity and this tax credit auction will help raise funds for programs that will help ensure fresh, healthy, and affordable food is accessible and available in every community across the state,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan. 

The FDRA was established under the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act (ERA) of 2020. The programs created under the FDRA are part of the NJEDA’s broader portfolio of work focused on food security, including the Food Security Planning Grant, Sustain & Serve NJ, and the Food Retail Innovation in Delivery Grant (FRIDG). 

To register for the NJBIA webinar, featuring Riley Edwards, team lead of NJEDA Economic Security Projects, and Brian Todd, NJEDA senior advisor for Food Desert Relief, go here. Businesses that cannot attend the live webinar, can register to receive a recording afterward.