TRENTON – Senator Paul A. Sarlo, D-Bergen and Passaic, who Chairs the Senate Oversight Committee released the following statement today following Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee hearings with representatives of Rutgers’ Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, the State Office of Legislative Services Revenue Board and State Treasurer John McCormack.
“It is imperative that New Jersey does all it can to increase revenue and attract job growth.
” During our first meeting, the Legislative Oversight panel held a hearing to focus on and address the State’s business and manufacturing interests. While manufacturing plays a major role in New Jersey’s economy, it seems as if the State is having a difficult time keeping these businesses here. We do not want to lose lucrative businesses and revenue to neighboring states. Issues like high taxes and health insurance rates and energy costs make it less attractive to new businesses, which definitely impedes the State’s manufacturing success. The State should work with entities like the New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA) and Board of Public Utilities to determine more realistic operating costs for the State’s businesses so that we are able to both attract new companies and convince the ones we have to remain in the State.
“Another way to raise an expected $150 million in revenue for the State would be to install Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) in the Meadowlands. My colleagues from South Jersey have voiced their concerns on how putting VLTs in the Meadowlands would take business away from Atlantic City.
“I understand that Atlantic City plays a vital role to the State’s economy, and I would never want to do anything to harm Atlantic City. However, I believe that New Jersey would benefit from the increased revenue these VLTs would provide for our cash-strapped budget. Atlantic City is currently losing business to casinos in Pennsylvania and New York, but the State would provide increased funding for Atlantic City to help defray any losses incurred from Meadowlands VLTs. I would like to work with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle, and all areas of the State to develop a plan of additional revenue for New Jersey that includes putting VLTs in the Meadowlands.”