NJEDA to launch $10M Food Desert Relief Tax Credit Auction

Will support programs to make nutritious foods more accessible, affordable

Food sharing concept. Fighting with overconsumption background. Various products in a food donation box

Up to $10 million in corporate and insurance premiums tax credits will be auctioned through the Food Desert Relief Tax Credit Auction, according to a Thursday announcement from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

Beginning Sept. 18, New Jersey Corporate Business Tax or Insurance Premiums Tax filers can apply to bid for tax credits at a discount of up to 15%. The application for the auction will close Oct. 18.

A sample application and details about the auction process can be found here.

Proceeds of the auction will fund programs aimed to improve and increase access to healthy and affordable food throughout New Jersey’s 50 Food Desert Communities. The tax credit auction was approved by the NJEDA board in April.

“The NJEDA is committed to fighting food insecurity, and this tax credit auction will help raise funds for programs that will help ensure fresh, healthy and affordable food is accessible and available in every community across the state,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “Every New Jerseyan deserves access to high-quality food options, no matter their ZIP code. Gov. Phil Murphy and the Legislature have long been committed to combating food insecurity, while uplifting families and neighborhoods.”

In April, the board approved proposed rules for the $240 million Food Desert Relief Tax Credit Program, as well as the auction of up to $50 million of the $240 million in tax credits in 2023.

Proceeds from the auction will be used to fund programs that will advance the priorities established by the Food Desert Relief Act. These future grants, loans and technical assistance initiatives will complement the Food Desert Relief Tax Credit Program, a tax credit program to support development and operation of new supermarkets in FDCs, by supporting small and midsized food retailers and other entities involved in strengthening food security.