TRENTON – The Senate approved legislation today sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner that would require businesses receiving development subsidies from the State to submit information that would allow the State to monitor the effectiveness of those programs.
“New Jersey spends millions of dollars each year on tax breaks and subsidies to lure businesses to New Jersey,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “Programs like the Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP) and the Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant (BRRAG) Program, are funded year after year because of claims that they help create new jobs in New Jersey. As budgets continue to look tight for the future, we need to prove that the programs we fund really do pay off with job growth.”
The bill, S-1213, would specify the information that businesses would be required to submit in applying for a development loan, including information regarding the jobs which are expected to be created in connection with the subsidy, and any other development subsidies sought or received by the applicant. Each recipient of a subsidy would be required, for the duration of the subsidy or five years, whichever is longer, to submit annual reports on the progress of the recipient in attaining the job creation or retention goals stated in the application.
Senator Turner added, “It’s important to attract quality businesses to New Jersey to bring in more jobs and bolster the economy, and if these programs assist in that effort, I’m more than happy to continue to support them. But if the data shows we’re not getting our money’s worth, we need to find a better way to spend this money.”
The bill would also require the State Treasurer to compile and publish an annual budget identifying all costs and benefits provided by all state development subsidies and provide the Legislature with a report on the costs of all developmental subsidies, including the cost of tax incentives. Under the bill, any recipient corporation that knowingly makes false statements or misrepresents their position and progress in fulfilling the job creation or retention goals, would have to refund any development subsidy to the original granting body.
The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 27-10. It now goes to the Assembly for their consideration.