Why Honeywell says it can move HQ but keep Grow NJ award

Honeywell is moving its corporate headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina — and plans to take 150-200 jobs from New Jersey in the next year while doing so.

But it will still receive the benefits of the $40 million Grow New Jersey tax incentive it received from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority in 2015.

So said company spokesperson Nina Krauss.

Krauss said the award will not be impacted if Honeywell maintains 1,000 jobs in the state … and she said the Morris Plains-based company intends to do so.

“We are in the fourth year of a 10-year Grow NJ agreement,” she told ROI-NJ. “Under the terms of this agreement, we can qualify for incentives each year based on how many people we employ in New Jersey.

“We are committed to the terms of Grow NJ and will continue to comply with the agreement.”

The EDA said it will review the terms of the agreement, releasing this statement to ROI-NJ:

“Honeywell was approved for tax credits under the legacy Grow NJ program in March 2013. The company was approved for up to $40 million to remain in Morris Township and retain 1,061 jobs.

“As created by statute in 2012, the legacy Grow program was available to businesses creating or retaining a minimum 100 jobs in New Jersey and making a qualified capital investment of at least $20 million at a qualified business facility.

“Credits are only certified for use annually and proportionally based on actual job performance during that year and an applicant is subject to forfeiture and recapture in the event of default. Companies must maintain 80 percent of certified jobs at the qualified business facility incented by the Grow NJ award, and 80 percent of the statewide workforce. As with all projects, the EDA will continue to monitor the company’s performance against their obligations under the program on an annual basis.

“Honeywell certified completion and received a total of $8 million in tax credits for jobs reported in 2015 and 2016. The EDA will evaluate the impact of today’s news on the Grow award.”

Krauss said the company did not receive any money up front from the state when it moved to Morris Plains from Morris Township.

“Awards are made based on employment each year,” she said. “Even factoring in the positions that will move, about 1,000 Honeywell employees will remain in New Jersey across the company’s six locations in the state, including about 800 employees in Morris Plains.

“We have a longstanding presence here and we value our relationship with the state.”

In its release on the move, Honeywell said it will initially take 150-200 jobs from New Jersey to Charlotte. (It also is moving jobs from a South Carolina location.)

The company said it plans to increase the employees in its Charlotte location to 750 by the end of 2024, but that it is committed to keeping 1,000 jobs in New Jersey, including approximately 800 in Morris Plains.

In the release announcing the move, Honeywell Chairman and CEO Darius Adamczyk stressed the company’s commitment to New Jersey.

“Our decision does not reflect any issues with the quality of our experience in New Jersey,” Adamczyk said. “We value the strong relationship that we have built with the state of New Jersey and with Gov. (Phil) Murphy. New Jersey will remain a substantial employment center for us.”

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