The state has agreed to provide 50% refunds for carnival and amusement ride annual permits if those rides were inspected but never operated at all during the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Chrissy Buteas said Friday.

The Department of Community Affairs’ Carnival-Amusement Ride Safety Unit will use money it has received under the federal CARES Act to pay for the permit refunds.

Buteas said that NJBIA has been active in the effort to secure refunds for ride operators who paid for state inspections but then were never able to open once the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in the spring of 2020 and non-essential business closures were mandated by the state.

Ride operators who paid for permits in 2020 are receiving letters from DCA with an enclosed affidavit that operators must sign, affirming that their inspected rides were not open for business during the 2020 ride season.

“We appreciate DCA and Senator Vin Gopal’s (D-11) efforts to address this matter,” Buteas said.

The affidavit must be returned by email to DCA by Nov. 26.