Statement by George E. Norcross, III, regarding today’s WNYC story

Carl Golden, senior contributing analyst with the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University, talks about the escalation of public infighting between Gov. Phil Murphy and George Norcross over the NJEDA Task Force investigations into tax incentives which embodies a political strategy of deny everything and attack.

Statement by George E. Norcross, III, regarding today’s WNYC story:

 

“As one of the foremost champions of Camden’s renaissance, I join with other Camden leaders to thank WNYC Radio for its lengthy story detailing the massive undertaking to help rebuild Camden’s future. While much of the story has previously been reported by other outlets, this was the first effort to compile all of the hard work that went into getting the city on its current path forward. The story reported that there is at least $1.6 billion of new private sector investment in a city that was on its good days merely ‘struggling.’ Now, government statistics reveal that jobs and graduation rates are up, while crime, unemployment and poverty are down.

 

“In its reporting, WNYC highlighted the legislative back and forth that reformed the Grow NJ Program in 2013 to ensure that Camden, America’s poorest and most dangerous city, was given the tools it needed to attract the private investment needed to rebuild the city’s tax base.  Due to an unprecedented partnership between residents, government, business and community leaders, Camden ‘reaped more than four times as many tax breaks as the combined amounts of other cities designated as “growth zones,” according to data from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.'”

 

“But even with the surge of interest and investment in Camden, the record is clear: over the last two decades and until recently, Camden and South Jersey have received just a small percentage of the state’s economic incentives while companies like Goldman Sachs, UPS, Siemens, Forbes, JP Morgan, Prudential, Panasonic, and Verizon received eight and nine-figure tax credits for locations in North Jersey.  The $1.6 billion for Camden projects identified by WNYC is just a fraction of the $5 billion recently committed to Amazon if it would move to Newark.

 

“The fact that private investment is returning to Camden is no accident — it was planned and fought for.  As WNYC and other media outlets have reported, the commitment to rebuilding Camden’s future began years ago and focused on the city’s three biggest challenges: improving public safety, reforming education and bringing jobs and economic investment to the city.

 

“According to government statistics, total crime is down by almost 59% since 2012, graduation rates have jumped by almost 20 points while the dropout rate has been cut in half,  unemployment is down 8 full points and poverty is being reduced.  While the work is not done, but all accounts the city is making real progress. That’s why, when President Barack Obama toured the city, he praised it as a “symbol of promise for the nation.”

 

“As the WNYC story makes clear, this dramatic change wasn’t due to luck or happenstance.  It is the product of thoughtful planning and hard work by many people over the course of almost a decade.  We are not nor will we be deterred from realizing the full potential of this great city for its residents, and businesses.  Camden is truly Rising.”

 

 

George E. Norcross III

Executive Chairman

 

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