From NJTV’s NJ Today, July 10, 2013:
In a wide-ranging interview with Mike Schneider, NJPP president Gordon MacInnes touched on issues of affordable housing, immigration and the economy, and legislation to overhaul New Jersey’s business subsidy programs.
A new report has found that undocumented immigrants in New Jersey pay nearly $500 million in taxes — $58 million in income taxes, $95 million in property taxes and $323 million in sales taxes. MacInnes says the numbers don’t surprise him because undocumented immigrants come to the United States because they want a better job and a better life.
MacInnes also says the overhaul of the state’s subsidy programs still needs work, and argues that the state is putting too many eggs in the subsidy basket while ignoring other important investments to attract businesses.
“We’ve moved it from using it primarily to attract jobs from other states into New Jersey to moving jobs around in New Jersey. This bill, which started as a pretty sensible effort to simplify and to consolidate all of these incentive programs, now has blown up with lots of last minute amendments that are obviously aimed at specific projects,” he says.
He adds that there needs to be a cap on the subsidies; there is none in the proposed legislation.
“If there’s no cap, then the review of competing applications would be, ‘Hey what’s to lose? We’ll just approve everybody because we can keep doing it.’ If you have a cap, then you say, ‘Let’s be careful. Let’s pick the best applications.’ And I think that that’s the problem with this bill,” he says.
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