New Jersey lawmakers are considering making major revisions to the state's tax-incentive programs in an effort to boost employment.

The legislation would merge five tax-break programs into two. One of them would be focused on job creation, the other on economic development.

The revisions will help New Jersey stay competitive, says Assemblyman Al Coutinho, D-Essex.

"We will have stronger incentives than New York and Pennsylvania," he said. "It will put us in a competitive position to be able to attract new jobs and also very importantly not to lose existing jobs."

The biggest tax incentives would be given for development projects in urban transit hubs, places with high poverty levels, and areas damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce says the new approach will streamline the application process and encourage more small and midsize businesses to expand in the state.

"It really opens up the door to a lot of businesses both large and small particularly the middle-market businesses will have an opportunity to look at New Jersey to expand their facilities," said Michael Egenton, senior vice president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.

Coutinho said the program will pay for itself.

"We're providing incentives for business to make investments. Those investments will generate tax revenue, and we're using that tax revenue to give them their credit back," he said. "If we do not get them to make this investment, that money never exists."