Tom Bracken, the CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, has been a frequent critic of Gov. Phil Murphy’s economic policies.
On Wednesday, he said he found an ally.
Bracken gave his full support to the tax incentive program that was agreed upon by Murphy and legislative leaders late Tuesday night. It is expected to be voted on next Monday.
“Any sustained economic recovery in New Jersey must have a competitive and robust incentive program such as the one these state leaders have crafted, and this program will serve as a foundation for that recovery,” Bracken said.
Bracken saved his barbs for those opposed.
“To the critics of this program, we say it is time for you to look at the facts and deal with economic reality,” he said.
“First, this proposed incentive program is not an expense, it is an investment. As with all good investments, the revenue the state will realize far outweighs the cost of the program. This, in turn, will allow the state to fund important government assistance programs. Where do these critics think the revenue for these programs will come from?
“Second, critics of this program ought to look at how many jobs and how many companies New Jersey is losing to other states because of their incentive programs.
“This proposed incentive program is not an expense, it is an investment. As with all good investments, the revenue the state will realize far outweighs the cost of the program.”
“Third, we invite critics of this incentive program to spend a few minutes speaking with business owners and job creators in this state, as we do every day. These are the stores where you and your families shop. They are the restaurants where you and your families go to eat.
Read more from ROI-NJ:
- Governor, Legislature reach deal on new incentives program
- Breaking down the incentive deal (we’ve got more details)
“Our business community is weathering one of the most challenging economic times in recent memory, and for these businesses to get back on their feet, so they can hire workers, we must create a growing economy, and this incentive program helps do that.”
The state has been without incentives for nearly two years. But that doesn’t mean these negotiations were not going on. Bracken scoffed at the idea that this legislation was rushed.
“On the contrary, it is long overdue,” he said. “New Jersey has been without economic incentive programs for almost 18 months, and we have a lot of ground to make up.
“This proposed incentive program has many strong aspects to it, including provisions to help small businesses, incentives to drive innovation, and a sound structure for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the program.”