Pricey Aid: Some Ask If Business-Retention Billions Were Well Spent

NJBIZ

April 02, 2018

"Attorney Ted Zangari, a member and co-chair of the Real Estate Department at Sills Cummis & Gross in Newark, called tax-credit programs 'not only useful, they are essential.'

Zangari represents the Smart Growth Economic Development Coalition, an advocacy group that includes major real estate, business and labor organizations, and more than a dozen other trade associations.

But he added, 'Gov. Murphy is absolutely correct that financial incentives are not the only factor that should be considered' and said the Coalition wants some changes to incentive programs.

The challenge for New Jersey is that 'most of our competitor-states are roughly equal or better' when it comes to transportation, skilled labor workforce and quality of life, he said.

'That’s where financial incentives enter the equation,' Zangari said. 'Grow NJ — unlike the [Business Employment Incentive Program] and [Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant] programs of the 1990s and early 2000s — has been tremendously successful in sufficiently narrowing and even closing that cost-gap over a 10- or 15-year time horizon.'"