1st District Democratic candidates

1st District Democratic candidates Jeff Van Drew (Senate) and Bob Andrzejczak and R. Bruce Land (Assembly) met with the editorial board. Oct. 18, 2017 (Craig Matthews / Staff Photographer)

Craig Matthews / Staff Photographer

TRENTON — Businesses at the Cape May County Airport could save money on their tax bill if they hold onto their employees or create new jobs under legislation advanced Tuesday by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Van Drew, would extend the state's Grow New Jersey Assistance Program to businesses at the airport, and would allow them to receive a base tax credit of $5,000 a year for each job created or retained by the business.

"We have incredible opportunity to attract aviation and high-tech businesses to this region, which will create good-paying jobs for local residents,” Van Drew said in a press release. “We already have important assets in place, including a drone test site at the Cape May County Airport, and research and development taking place in the region.”

The airport also has an industrial park that has attracted new tenants, including a video and commercial production company and a technical start-up incubator for drone technology companies owned by Cape May County.

Gov.-elect Phil Murphy has pledged one of his top priorities when he takes office will be upgrading NJ Transit, but people living in Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties may not feel the benefit of Murphy’s focus when the Legislature puts together a spending package early next year.

Van Drew said that by allowing businesses at the airport to apply for Grow NJ tax credits, the bill would foster economic growth in the area, as well as potentially bring together drone businesses at the William J. Hughes Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township with those in Cape May County.

The bill was approved by a vote of 13-0. It next heads to the Senate for a vote.

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Middle Township Gazette reporter. Call me anytime you have news for the paper or the website. 609-365-6176