New Jersey’s Economic Development Incentives Face Scrutiny with Christie Administration
As the Christie Administration faces intensifying scrutiny over the Governor’s relationships with his political appointees, the state’s economic development incentive awards have also come into question. This week The New York Times revealed that David Samson, Chairman of the Port Authority and the central figure of “Bridge-gate,” also played a critical role in expanding the scope of New Jersey’s subsidies through his law firm Wolff & Samson. In addition to lobbying for tax breaks for Honeywell, the firm also served as counsel for the state’s bond deal on the controversial Panasonic relocation, and represented the infamous Xanadu (now American Dream) project when it sought a new set of subsidies from the state.
New Jersey Policy Perspective revealed a year ago that the volume and value of special tax breaks given to companies mushroomed under Gov. Christie’s leadership, rising to a record $2.1 billion in the first three years of his term. But the subsidy blowout hasn’t demonstrated a positive effect on New Jersey’s employment rate, according to Jon Whiten at NJPP. Compared to the national average, the state has recovered half as many jobs following the recession. We may now be getting a better understanding of how these subsidies were used, if not for job creation.
Read the full article "In Job, Appointee Profits and Christie Gains Power" at The New York Times website.