Audit Finds Lax Oversight with Tax Subsidy Program

NJPP's Gordon MacInnes talks to NJTV News about flaws with the state's tax breaks.

Published on Jan 26, 2017 in Tax and Budget

Last night, NJTV News covered a recent state audit that found lax oversight of New Jersey’s business tax subsidy programs, and turned to NJPP President Gordon MacInnes for insight and analysis.

“It strikes us that the likelihood is very strong that most of the jobs that were retained — where the subsidy gets the credit — were going to stay anyway,” he said.

MacInnes heads the left-leaning New Jersey Policy Perspective. He points to Panasonic as an example.

“The chief financial officer — after the deal was struck — said, ‘Eh! That had nothing to do with our moving and staying in New Jersey,’” MacInnes said.

The audit found lax oversight, noting, for example, “…four of seven businesses reviewed had fewer employees than they needed to receive a full grant but their awards had not been adjusted.” In Camden the EDA offered companies like Lockheed Martin, Holtec and Subaru even bigger, enhanced tax breaks. But the audit examined that rationale and advised, “…such an increase should be questioned and revisited as it may not be in the best interest of the state.”

And MacInnes adds, the EDA can’t verify a company’s motive.

“Yet, that is the threat that is employed by supporters of these tax cuts, to say, ‘If you don’t do this, we’re going to see even greater flight out of New Jersey,’” he said.

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