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Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D-Camden), who co-chaired a joint legislative hearing by the Senate Economic Growth and Assembly Commerce and Economic Development and Committees on the Economic Development Authority’s tax incentive programs, issued the following statement at the conclusion of today’s hearing:
“Today’s hearing provided a more accurate understanding of the impact of the tax incentive programs and helped to refute the inaccurate interpretations of the Comptroller’s report.
“The witnesses made clear that only a fraction of the tax credits have actually been issued, that the comptroller’s report did not claim the promised jobs were not created, that current law already calls for verification of new and retained jobs, that the Attorney General’s Office effectively approves each award, and that the sampling of 48 companies was not a scientific representation of the more than 1,000 businesses that participated and included only 19 in programs that still exist. The Comptroller himself said his report made no value judgement on the merit or effectiveness of the incentive programs and that its findings were based primarily on the absence of verified documentation.
“We will use the information gathered today as well as the audit conducted by the Comptroller and other studies measuring the impact and effectiveness of the tax incentive programs to inform the Legislature on how they can be improved, how they should be structured, and what oversight controls are needed to ensure full accountability.
“We want to make sure that the incentives are meeting their intended goals of creating and retaining good jobs, expanding opportunities for those seeking employment and contributing to the state’s long-term economic growth.”