Today, the New Jersey Senate Budget Committee passed the historic rehabilitation tax credit bill, the Historic Property Reinvestment Act (HPRA) and sent it to the full Senate for a final vote. Senate prime sponsor Sen. Barbara Buono (Metuchen) spoke passionately and at length about the importance of preserving heritage and unique and historic places as the Committee began consideration of the legislation. Questions from committee members about the job creation and fiscal impacts of the proposed financial incentive were fielded by speakers Hon, Mary-Anna Holden, Mayor of Madison, NJ and Preservation New Jersey President; Walter Gallas, Northeast Field Office Director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation; Trenton real estate developer David Henderson of HHG Development; and PNJ Executive Director Ron Emrich.
The 9 – 1 affirmative vote came with support from members of both parties. The final hurdle for HPRA is a full Senate vote, probably in mid-January, plus a pro forma correcting vote in the Assembly. The signature of Gov. Chris Christie would enact the long-awaited bill.