Former Speaker Sheila Oliver on Tax Incentive Program: ‘I was Unaware’

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver said that she was.unaware that a provision of a bill containing controversial tax incentives for Camden, posed when she was speaker of the General Assembly, was being tailored to block a proposed grocery store. She said had she known, she would have opposed the bill.

In her capacity as Acting Governor of New Jersey, LG Sheila Oliver today offered her reflections on her posting of the bill containing controversial tax incentives for Camden when she was speaker of the General Assembly.

“Politico’s report detailing how political manipulation in the writing of the state’s expired tax incentive program left Camden a food desert is beyond disturbing. As a vociferous voice for underserved communities, I know that the residents who spoke with Politico’s reporters are entirely correct – access to healthy food should be a basic right, not a luxury. As Assembly Speaker, I was unaware that a provision of this bill was being tailored to block a proposed grocery store in Camden, and I would absolutely not have supported it had I known. We must do right by enacting a new program of economic incentives that truly has the betterment of entire communities, and not just a few hand-picked folks, as its central focus.”

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