State Senate advances legislation that would expand R&D tax credit on clean energy, numerous other sectors

Legislation that would spur beneficial advancements in clean energy (as well as transportation and manufacturing) was advanced this week by the state Senate Commerce Committee.

The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Sens. Michael Testa (R-Vineland) and Linda Greenstein (D-Cranbury) and co-sponsored by Sens. Troy Singleton (D-Moorestown) and Andrew Zwicker (D-Hillsborough), would fuel innovation by increasing the tax credits available through an existing program supporting ground-breaking research.

The measure would increase both the research expenses tax credit for businesses in targeted industries and the basic research payment tax credit from 10 to 15%. It allows the credits to be refundable.

Under the bill, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority would be responsible for periodically identifying a list of targeted industries.

The initial list required by the bill would include:

  • Advanced transportation and logistics;
  • Manufacturing;
  • Aviation;
  • Autonomous vehicle and zero-emission vehicle research or development;
  • Clean energy;
  • Life sciences;
  • Hemp processing;
  • Information and high technology;
  • Finance and insurance;
  • Professional services;
  • Film and digital media;
  • Non-retail food and beverage businesses, including food innovation;
  • Other innovative industries that disrupt current technologies or business models.

“The research process is grueling, frustrating and extremely costly, but it is the necessary first step toward the development of the new methods, products and procedures that can change the way we live and work in the years to come,” Testa said. “Without research, nothing changes. A more robust tax credit will help incite work on the drawing boards and in the labs of where experts can pursue more efficient, faster and better ways of doing things.”

Testa said the bill is vital for New Jersey to keep pace with the rest of the world.

“Advancements that were unimaginable only a few years ago are now changing our everyday life,” he said. “This bill represents a more concerted commitment to our future.”