Comptroller: N.J. gave away $11B to incentivize job growth without confirming recipients were creating jobs

TRENTON, N.J. — Corporate welfare is bad enough.

When the companies aren’t even creating jobs with it? That’s even harder for taxpayers and watchdogs to stomach.

A new report from the N.J. Comptroller Matt Boxer (his office conduced an audit — click here for the full report) reports on a disturbing disconnect between New Jersey Economic Development Authority incentive programs AND oversight of whether the monies were actually resulting in new jobs.

Politico‘s Matt Friedman did a pretty good job of summing up the key findings on Twitter:

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“This audit undercuts the argument used by supporters of these incentives: That we’re not giving away money because these jobs wouldn’t exist without the incentives. But here we see companies getting incentives for jobs they didn’t create,” added Friedman.

Interestingly, whether fiscally-challenged New Jersey government should be throwing BILLIONS at corporations constitutes an issue which, as AFP-NJ head Eric Jedynak points out, produces a rare consensus uniting the political Right and Left in the Garden State:

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There’s been some renewed scrutiny on New Jersey tax breaks and job incentive programs as of late, particularly after corporate giant Honeywell pulled up stakes and left Morris County for North Carolina despite receiving substantial tax breaks from the Christie Administration.

The tax-battered N.J. economy continues to lag the rest of the country in job growth according to a new analysis from the Garden State Initiative (GSI).

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