TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner today said her bill-approved today by an Assembly committee-is needed to halt development subsidies to companies that abandon New Jersey or don’t create the jobs they promised.
“It’s wrong for companies to take the money and run,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “And it’s a hoax on the taxpaying public when companies promise to create jobs, get millions of dollars in development subsidies and then fail to document any jobs creation.”
Senator Turner’s bill, S-1213, was approved unanimously by the Assembly Labor Commttee. It passed the Senate last June.
“This bill will provide the same kind of transparency for development subsidies that we’re providing today on all levels of government,” said Senator Turner. “If corporations promise to create jobs in return for subsidies, we want an accounting.”
Senator Turner said she introduced the legislation after becoming fed up with incidents where companies would receive millions of dollars in development subsidies, but never follow up with any proof that they created jobs in New Jersey.
“Now, once my bill gets enacted, if the companies don’t prove that they’ve kept their promises about jobs creation or if they skip the State, they’ll be held liable for paying back the money they got from the State,” Senator Turner said.
Under the bill, companies receiving development subsidies would be required to submit annual reports – for a five-year period after receiving the grants – about the specific number of jobs they’ve created and how it compares to the goals stated on their applications for the development subsidies.
In addition, the Treasury Department would be required to publish an annual report on all development subsidies and their costs to taxpayers through tax incentives granted to companies.
“The best part about the reports is that they will all be open to the public,” Senator Turner said.