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Eyeing NJ incentives

A report on New Jersey's tax incentive programs:

The release of the report comes nearly five years after the state significantly overhauled its approach to economic development to boost job growth, which had been stalled in the wake of the Great Recession. Those changes included allowing companies and developers to get more generous tax incentives, while also reducing their requirements for investment and job creation.

But those new rules have been hotly debated since they were enacted in 2013, with critics raising the cost of the incentives as a primary concern. The new Rutgers analysis estimates the average annual per-job cost for the state's popular Grow NJ program has been $7,650 for a new job created, and $3,670 for jobs retained using the state incentives. But those estimates don't count projects in Camden, which is treated as an outlier in the analysis because the 2013 law made the city a top-priority economic-development zone with its own set of rules. The annual per-job average for Camden is $34,000, counting both new and retained jobs, according to the analysis.


The new analysis of the incentive programs comes out as Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, is awaiting the results of a comprehensive audit of the programs, which are soon up for renewal. It's widely expected that Murphy -- who has loudly criticized the way the incentive programs were administered during the tenure of his Republican predecessor, Chris Christie -- will want lawmakers to make a new round of changes, reflecting his policy goals.


...the authors point out those figures are generally on the high end of national benchmarks [even] if you don't count tax breaks that were used to lure companies to or keep them in Camden.


"It is not always clear that such projects would not have been pursued elsewhere in the state in the absence of the ERG grant, and the state benefits therefore may not necessarily constitute a net return to the state," according to the analysis.


On the residential side, the authors suggest making changes that would expand the places where developments could qualify for incentives, and it flags as questionable the use of some $25 million in residential credits on athletic facilities by Rutgers under the existing rules.

Murphy recently enacted huge incentives for Hollywood, which i think is extremely dumb, but it would be good to at least see him trim the incentives in other areas.

By fnord12 | July 19, 2018, 11:27 AM | Liberal Outrage