TRENTON, N.J. – The Select Senate Committee on Economic Growth Strategies held a hearing yesterday with a panel of national experts who were largely critical of the Economic Development Authority’s controversial tax incentive program. Assemblyman John DiMaio, the Republican budget officer, echoed the experts’ sentiments that there are better strategies to accomplish the same goals.
“The hearing with experts yesterday proved that it is New Jersey’s nation-worst business environment that is hurting economic growth,” said DiMaio (R-Warren). “It would be a more effective use of taxpayer money if taxes and regulations were cut. Instead of corporate handouts, let’s cut the corporate business tax. It would the first step in the right direction. Keeping the money in the pockets of employers and employees alike is what drives economic growth.”
Those who testified emphasized a need for change. New Jersey’s recently expired programs cost taxpayers $66,000 per job, twice the national average. The experts also stated that three quarters of the companies winning tax breaks would have set up shop in an area regardless of the incentive and states nationwide forgo $50 billion to $70 billion in total revenue annually due to runaway tax credits.
The next hearing is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 23.