The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is preparing a $200 million bond issue for later this month to finance what is being billed one of the largest job creation programs in state history.
The authority plans to use the proceeds to attract three times as much in private capital, creating an $800 million pool of money to build a performing arts center in Newark, expand Atlantic City's airport, and fund various education and environmental projects.
New Jersey officials hope the plan, which was proposed by Gov. Jim Florio in his January state of the state address, will create 20,000 temporary construction jobs and 75,000 permanent jobs.
New Jersey's unemployment crisis became even more apparent recently when the Labor Department reported that the state had the highest unemployment rate among the nation's most populous states. The number jumped to 9.8% in July from 9.2% in June.
The money to back the bonds will come from a 1990 deal involving New York, New Jersey, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. In that agreement, the authority agreed to buy the two states' claims to rental revenues on 50 floors of one of the World Trade Center's two towers, which are owned by the authority.
Under the agreement, the authority makes twice-yearly payments of about $7 million each.
New York has already leveraged its share of the income for a $200 million bond issue, but the State used the proceeds as a one-shot revenue source for its fiscal 1991 budget.