Understanding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Making It Work in New Jersey

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will invest $787 billion into the U.S. economy to help the nation climb out of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Based on an independent analysis, New Jersey will reap about $17.5 billion in total benefits over the three years from this package. (This $17.5 billion estimate is based on an analysis that accounts for about 70% - or $550 billion - of the total cost of the recovery package. See Center for American Progress for more detail: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/02/compromise_map.html )

Of the $17.5 billion, approximately $10 billion will be allocated for critically-needed services, assistance, and infrastructure investment. About $7.3 billion will go back into the pockets of New Jersey residents and businesses in federal income tax cuts.

In fact, nearly 42 percent of the money coming to the state over the next three years will come in the form of tax breaks. For example, New Jersey taxpayers, who have historically been hard hit by the Alternative Minimum Tax, will get relief under this plan. About 1.7 million individuals in NJ are expected to see relief from the AMT patch included in the ARRA. For more information about tax benefits, please see the section on tax benefits on this website.

The remainder of the funds will be used for infrastructure and energy projects; education and job training; saving jobs and protecting vital services; Medicaid and other social safety net programs.

Just looking at the $17.5 billion in total benefits, that's about 3.2% of the $550 billion which could be estimated at the time of the analysis.

In addition, approximately another $240 billion will be available nationwide in additional tax benefits and competitive grant funds. For more information about these grant opportunities, see the section on grant opportunities on this website, and more information about additional tax opportunities will be added as it becomes available.

Among other things, competitive grants will be available for a broad scope of initiatives ranging from medical research to lead hazard reduction. The state will be working closely with local governments, community organizations and individuals to take full advantage of the grant opportunities. We must strive to get at least 3% of these additional funding opportunities to truly maximize the full benefits of the ARRA for New Jerseyans.

The availability of these federal dollars will create or save 100,000 jobs in New Jersey over the next two years, based on estimates from the White House. The money will also help stabilize state and local government budgets, although it will not solve the severe budget deficits that both the state and local governments are facing.

Our goal with this website is to provide the public with a full understanding of how the federal recovery dollars are being used in New Jersey.

Transparency and accountability are paramount. For that reason, Gov. Jon S. Corzine has created the NJ Recovery Accountability Task Force to oversee the distribution of these federal funds. For more information, please see the section on accountability and transparency.

These federal recovery funds present a unique opportunity to help revive the economy of New Jersey. Swift but responsible action is needed and will be taken to implement this recovery package in NJ. We invite you to explore all of the opportunities described on this site, all of which are aimed at helping to restore economic well-being for the people of NJ.