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Smith doesn’t see EDA Tax Incentive Unilateral Disarmament as an Option

The Senate Select Committee on Economic Growth Strategies Meeting will hold its first meeting on July 29. Chaired by Senator Bob Smith, the committee was formed in response to the NJEDA tax incentive controversy and subsequent establishment of Governor Phil Murphy’s task force.

Shortly after ending today’s session of his Select Committee on Economic Growth Strategies, state Senator Bob Smith (D-17) said New Jersey can certainly do a better – and more targeted – job with its tax incentives, but said he opposes scrapping the program entirely.

“We compete with others,” Smith told InsiderNJ, citing Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York and other area state.

“You need it as a tool in the tool basket,” added the Democratic senator from Piscataway, noting the potential to stimulate historic preservation with tax incentives and manufacturing.

“We can get some twofers,” said the long-serving chair of the Senate Environmental Committee. “The plastics issue is becoming enormous in this state at our landfills.” Smith welcomed the possibility of tax incentives for plastic manufacturers that clean up their waste product, for example.

This from GreenBiz:

Consumers do not pay — and few companies voluntarily shoulder the full cost of preventing or cleaning up the waste produced by their products. A key barrier to both investment and the rapid adoption of better solutions and policies remains sheer cost.

Much of the world has explored plastic bans, taxes, alternative materials or producer responsibility regulations, but little focus has been given to the potential financial incentives that can drive needed investment and make solutions cheaper, even profitable.

“There are ways to make it a better program, but you don’t unilaterally disarm,” Smith told InsiderNJ. “If we do a new program, there must definitely be an education component. …There are a lot of ways to improve and I am leaning toward a better tax incentive program.”

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