Report finds problems with Christie-era tax incentive program

David Madden
July 09, 2020 - 5:07 pm
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    PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  A blue-ribbon panel has issued its third and final report into a tax incentive program in New Jersey implemented under the Christie administration. The program has been suspended by Gov. Phil Murphy more than a year ago. 

    After a year and a half, the panel concluded the Grow NJ program was played by professional consultants who advised clients how to get grants, regardless of whether they were looking to locate outside the state. 

    Many of the questionable awards went to firms either owned, controlled or influenced by South Jersey political power broker George Norcross. 

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    “We found a concentration of the applications that had red flags in Camden. But it is by no means limited to Camden. This report focuses on companies outside of Camden,” said task force chief counsel Jim Walden.

    Awards totaling $578 million to a dozen firms a few with direct Norcross ties are being recommended for close scrutiny, some to the Economic Development Authority for possible suspensions of awards, and others to law enforcement. 

    The 100-page report also recommends better record keeping and follow up at EDA to ensure that promised jobs as a result of the grants are actually delivered.