The Economic Development Authority this morning approved a $390 million Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) grant for the American Dreams Meadowlands project, making it the largest state business tax subsidy ever in New Jersey. The ERG grant comes on top of hundreds of millions more in tax breaks and bonds pledged and backed by local governments.
Below is a statement from NJPP president Gordon MacInnes on this issue.
Pledging to help bail out a megamall to the tune of nearly $400 million is a clear case of New Jersey’s misplaced priorities on economic development. Instead of placing their bets on a flailing retail destination in the swamps, New Jersey policymakers would be better off making investments that are proven to grow the economy and create good jobs for this and future generations.
The tax dollars New Jersey will be giving up with this investment in Xanadu could, for instance, help jumpstart an expansion of preschool in the state’s working-class districts, be used to reverse the tax hike on a half-million working poor families enacted in 2010, or help control rising costs of higher education by renewing our commitment to robust state support of public colleges and universities.
For more information on the mechanics of ERG, as well as our recommendations on how to improve the program, see our 2010 report: http://www.njpp.org/assets/reports/economic-development/1-rpt_erg.pdf
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