Finance

Despite Critics, Christie Expands Corporate Tax Breaks in New Jersey

New Jersey’s use of tax breaks and grants to lure businesses to the state — already ramped up under Gov. Chris Christie — may now expand even more sharply.
September 19, 2013

New Jersey’s use of tax breaks and grants to lure businesses to the state — already ramped up under Gov. Chris Christie — may now expand even more sharply.

Christie this afternoon signed into law the New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 (A3680), which lifts limits on how much the state can give out in economic incentives to corporations and developers, and greatly expands the geographic areas where companies can qualify.

“This new group of incentives will lead to making us more competitive with other states across the country,” Christie said at a news conference. “Let’s not kid ourselves. We’re competing with other states every day for the economic pie.”

Christie affixed his signature to the 82-page bill a week after its main sponsor, Al Coutinho (D-Essex), resigned from the state Assembly and pleaded guilty to stealing money from his family’s charitable foundation.

Since 2010, the state has doled out $2.1 billion in incentives, according to the liberal think tank New Jersey Policy Perspective. By comparison, the state gave out $1.5 billion in incentives during the previous 10 years.

Critics question whether the tax breaks have done anything to grow jobs in new Jersey.

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