What’s the best way to grow the Garden State economy?
Gov. Phil Murphy wants to rework New Jersey’s multi-billion dollar tax incentive program.
Following a report earlier this year by the Office of the State Comptroller that found some large companies have not delivered on promises to create new jobs after scoring $11 billion in tax incentives, Murphy is calling for a new approach that would cap and decrease tax breaks by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Tom Bracken, president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, believes the state’s tax incentive program can be reconfigured but without cutting and capping the rewards.
“The fact is we have to remain competitive with our peer states, our neighboring states, because that’s one way of retaining and attracting business," he said. “You never cap an incentive program because by its definition, incentives are meant to entice people to do things that are beneficial to, in this case, the state of New Jersey.”
Bracken said we have hundreds of thousands of businesses in New Jersey “that need to be paid more attention to and need to have access to the incentive programs.” He said now is the perfect time to make incentive programs available to every company in the Garden State.
“I think every company deserves the right to have incentives if they meet certain criteria to add people or add to their facilities,” said Bracken.
“We are nowhere near where we should be from the standpoint of economic development.”
He said the state should find a way to allow smaller companies to share in the incentives available to the largest corporations.
“Just the simple fact of having outreach programs and paying more attention to these companies I think would go a long way to spurring these companies on to grow and make our economy better," he said.
His other main message to state leaders is no new mandates and no new taxes.
“The business community has been saddled with many mandates that have been cumbersome to deal with, costly to deal with. It just puts more burden on those businesses at a time when the economy is not that strong," he said.
“The corporate business tax has been increased, other taxes have been levied on in the forms of fees and so forth, we just can’t afford in this state to become more expensive than we are.”
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com