Two years ago, Governor Christie traveled to the Honeywell International headquarters in Morris County to announce that he had prevented the company from fleeing New Jersey by promising to make a key incentive program more generous.
At his urging, the Legislature six months later upgraded the Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant (BRRAG), increasing the maximum benefits available ninefold, from $1,500 to $13,500 in tax credits per job retained in the state. That, Christie said, would enable Honeywell to redevelop its global headquarters in Morris Township, rather than move elsewhere.
Yet the $43 billion diversified technology company now says the program isn’t lucrative enough, and it is still thinking of moving to Pennsylvania.
NJPP president Gordon MacInnes says the maneuver shouldn’t come as a surprise, since the administration has relied so heavily on using tax breaks to spur economic development.
“It’s a game of threat and compliance,” he says. “If that’s your only strategy, then you end up with, first of all, giving credits to corporations which may have no interest in moving.”
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