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NJ Lawmakers Seek Boost In Life Science Tax Credit

New Jersey State Assembly

New Jersey State Assembly (Credit: NJ.com)

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Some New Jersey lawmakers want to boost the amount of life sciences research tax credits that are made available to state businesses.

The legislation making its way through the Assembly would raise the tax credit from 10 to 20 percent of the firm’s investment in such research. They would receive the credit each year for a five-year period, but would then have to reapply if they wanted to keep getting it.

“New Jersey’s biotechnology sector is one of the only areas that was able to successfully weather the economic recession, actually adding jobs when almost everyone else was losing them,” said Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, D-Somerset, who is one of the bill’s primary sponsors in that chamber. “With that type of success, increasing our efforts to encourage further research into life sciences just makes sense.

The life sciences research included in the bill involves work in biology, biochemistry, biophysics, bioengineering, microbiology, genetics or physiology that’s designed to find breakthroughs and advancements such as new cures, treatments and medicines for diseases.

The measure was reported out of the Assembly’s Commerce and Economic Development Committee earlier this month and referred to the chamber’s Appropriations Committee, which has not yet scheduled a hearing on the proposal. Besides Chivukula, other primary sponsors include Democratic Majority Leader Joseph Cryan of Union and Democratic Assemblywomen Pamela Lampitt of Cherry Hill and Annette Quijano of Union.

“Giving companies incentives to invest in life science research will create innovations that will ripple through our entire economy,” Lampitt said. “This is just one more way we are proving that New Jersey is, in fact, open for business.”

Identical legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Democrat Linda Greenstein of Mercer County. It was referred to the Economic Growth Committee, which has not yet scheduled a hearing on the proposal.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)