The clock is ticking on New Jersey’s economic development incentive programs, so key leaders from business and organized labor are urging the state to act quickly. In an op-ed published by ROI-NJ, NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka, State Chamber President Tom Bracken, IUOE Local 825 Business Manager Greg Lalevee and New Jersey Laborers Union Vice President Ray Pocino are pushing for a plan that will provide a temporary transition to a more permanent solution before June 30.
“With time running out, we are facing the real prospect of having no tax incentive program in place come July 1, when the current Grow New Jersey and Economic Redevelopment & Growth programs expire,” they write. “With one month to go, policymakers must find consensus on a program that will provide that needed transition time to a more comprehensive set of programs. Absent a robust program, rest assured that site selectors will remove New Jersey from their consideration and New Jersey-based companies that today are considering whether to stay or go will just give up and move on.”
Both programs provide tax incentives to either attract companies to locate or expand in New Jersey, or keep existing companies from moving out of state. The amount of the incentives is tied to the number of jobs created or retained, and/or private-sector investments made.
If the programs expire, New Jersey would be forced to compete against other states for these jobs and investments, but with little extra to entice companies beyond its inherent advantages. Many of New Jersey’s competitor states have robust incentive programs, while almost all states have lower taxes to begin with. That makes an extension of New Jersey’s existing programs paramount, the business and labor leaders argue.
“In fact, everyone agrees that the absence of an effective program leaves New Jersey ill-equipped to compete regionally to attract and retain businesses, because of the high cost of doing business in the state,” they said. “Tax incentives are necessary to help level the playing field.”