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Register now for the 'IDEAS' trade show May 15
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Registration is now open for the "IDEAS" Mid-Atlantic Lumber and Building Material Trade Show, taking place at the Valley Forge Casino Resort, in King of Prussia, Pa. on Tuesday, May 15. At this one-of-a-kind show, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., dealers will be urged to take customers from booth to booth, showing them new products that are coming to market. More

Plan in place to revitalize gambling mecca
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ATLANTIC CITY — In a never-ending cycle of redevelopment, the latest effort is for the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority's plan to recharge the nation's second-largest gambling mecca. Any proposed plan needs to focus on visitor safety, especially in the Atlantic and Pacific avenue commercial districts where pawn shops, check cashing joints and blinking "Sell Your Gold Here" signs aren't exactly enticing tourists.

State investment returns looking good?
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TRENTON — The state certainly has a rosy picture on the returns of state investment funds. PolitickerNJ reports the state is factoring in a 8.25 percent return on investments in its pension fund. If those lofty returns are not met — which is likely — the state's pension deficit of $41.8 billion will continue to grow.

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ENAP's membership is composed of independent retail lumber dealers located throughout the entire East Coast and expanding west of the Mississippi River. MORE

New Jersey businesses shoulder significant taxes
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STATEWIDE — A new report from the Tax Foundation in Washington that shows the state's businesses have the heaviest tax burden. Gannett reports the survey didn't take into account recent tax changes that the state's business community has supported. But it did show New Jersey is bruising for small business owners, who have to shell out corporate taxes, individual income taxes, sales taxes, unemployment insurance taxes and property taxes. Small business owners are so far underwater; they don't realize they keep getting soaked.

State pension fund on shaky ground
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TRENTON — With the shaky finances of the U.S. these days, state pension recipients are almost shocked to see the check in the mail. While the state's pension fund is not bankrupt, Gannett reports, it simply doesn't have the cash to pay out in the long-term. The fund for retired government workers has just a little more than half of what it needs for the onslaught of retirees, while the pension fund for teachers is holding 63.2 percent of expected liabilities. Everyone blames the European financial meltdown for the low numbers, but the issue really boils down to the unsustainable pension system the state has been awarding for years prior to Christie's reforms last June.

An end to tax collection see-saw?
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TRENTON — Tough to talk about tax cuts, when the state Treasury is not helping you out. But even though state tax collections for the first six months of the fiscal year came in at $325.7 million less than projected, Christie is still plowing forward with his promises for a phased-in, 10 percent income tax cut for all residents. The state treasurer is quick to note collections were $305 million higher in the last six months of 2011 than the last six months of 2010, signaling some progress. Does that make you feel comfortable about the $1.1 billion tax cut that Christie is pushing?

Extra tax coming to business owners
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TRENTON — "Aw, c'mon!," begins the rant of New Jersey business owners, with word they will be socked an extra $21 per employee in 2011 federal unemployment tax. It's because the state failed to pay back a $1.7 billion loan from the federal government to help foot the bill for unemployment insurance, Politicker reports. All in all, unemployment taxes are jumping $180 per employee, as the state tries to shore up the Unemployment Trust Fund, questioning, yet again, the sanity of people who want to own a business in New Jersey.

State weighing minimum wage hike
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TRENTON — State Democrats are pushing Christie to raise the state's minimum wage by $1.25 per hour, to $8.50 an hour. The Governor is hesitant, noting he doesn't want to put any more obstacles in front of businesses looking to hire. But, still, you can't buy much in New Jersey living on $8.50 an hour.

 Industry News

Atlantic City casino authority approves tourism district
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The document that sets the strategic framework for the Jersey Shore resort's newly created tourism district was unanimously approved by the board of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. Proponents say the district wants to broaden the array of offerings to make Atlantic City a world-class tourist destination. More

Governor celebrates Madison LEED site groundbreaking
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Real estate conglomerate Realogy recently joined Gov. Chris Christie and other officials for a groundbreaking ceremony in Madison, where Realogy will move into a new environmentally friendly, 270,000-square-foot headquarters. As construction crews worked outside on the steel framing, Christie thanked Realogy for staying in New Jersey and helping contribute to the state's "comeback." More

OSHA reduces Vineland construction firm fines in Levoy collapse
The News of Cumberland County    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The fine that Vineland-based Ogren Construction was required to pay the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for two violations during the Levoy Theater collapse have been downgraded substantially. Citations reported the construction company did not property support the structure and dug too far underground, injuring a subcontractor's employee. More

In South Jersey, some optimism in commercial real estate market
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After four tough years, the commercial real estate market in South Jersey is beginning to rebound or "bounce from the bottom," a panel of experts has said. But don't look for the crop of "For Lease" signs that dot highways and neighborhoods like weeds to disappear without a substantial drop in the unemployment rate, now hovering around 9 percent in New Jersey. More

Marriott to open Newark's 1st new hotel in 4 decades
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Marriott International Inc., the largest publicly traded U.S. lodging chain, plans to open a Courtyard property at Newark's Prudential Center, the first new hotel in the city's downtown in four decades. Illinois-based Tucker Development is spending $25 million to $50 million to build the mixed-use property. More

Housing for homeless vets planned in Lyons
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A Parsippany-based community service agency is working with a private developer to build 63 apartments and townhouses exclusively for former servicemen and women now living on New Jersey's streets. That partnership between Community Hope and Peabody Properties is one of many projects under way across the country as the U.S. government moves to end homelessness among military veterans by 2015, advocates say. More

Feds: Mid-Atlantic wind farms take step forward
The Associated Press via New Jersey Business    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Offshore wind farms from New Jersey to Virginia took a big step closer to reality with the completion of a review showing the renewable energy source would leave no major environmental damage, officials said. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said his department was trying to speed up the process for issuing renewable energy leases. Wind projects are being studied off the coasts of Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and New Jersey. More

At expo, economist muses on the 'recovery'
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"There has actually been recovery since 2009, but there's probably nobody in this room who believes that," economist Bob Berg said during a luncheon presentation at the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association's LBM Expo. He suggested banks are starting to lend money again, as the nation's financial institutions slowly realize that one of the few ways for them to make money is to lend it the old-fashioned way. More

Demand for alternative decking to rise
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Demand for wood-plastic composite and plastic lumber, used in decking, railing and other building materials, is projected to rise 13 percent a year until 2015, according to industry research. Advances will be driven by a rebound in construction expenditures from 2010, and growth will be boosted by increasing consumer demand for building products made from composite and plastic lumber, research predicts. More

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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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