Jersey City Open Source Initiative

Tax Abatement for Open Source Development

About the bill

An act to amend the tax law, in relation to providing a tax credit to individuals for up to one thousand dollars per year for expenses related to the development and posting of an open source or free license program.

Justification

Open Source Software is the creation and collaboration of free software in a public space and available for download & usage within free or commercial products.

Google, Facebook, and Twitter are three of many companies that have made huge impacts to web & mobile app development. Most consumers access the internet through web browsers, which are open source software. Facebook and Twitter, both very large websites and mobile apps, are powered by open source. Google, Facebook and Twitter have also released numerous open source libraries & tools that help power millions of web & mobile apps.

While there are numerous companies that have created Open Source Software, the majority of open source creators & contributors are individuals who work on their own spare time. These individuals currently do not have access to the same tax credit(s) that corporations and self-employers have. This legislation creates a similar tax credit incentive for individuals who currently have no means to deduct these expenses.

The tax credit would be applied to internet hosting costs and depreciated capital costs such as computers and education.

This act would signal to the greater New York / New Jersey area that Jersey City is a tech hub that enables innovation and would attract more Open Source developers to Jersey City. Jersey City would directly benefit from job growth and technology reinvigoration. Additionally, this act would help lower the costs of Open Source Software development.

Current Status

Developing draft; need research and data on a few key points for the summary.

Summary

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