Occupy Essex recently released a video to protest New Jersey’s proposed $250 million tax credit for Prudential to build new headquarters in Newark. The group has slammed Prudential before on this issue. In the video, Occupy Essex spokesman Adam Karl calls the proposed tax credit an “outrage” and notes that the company isn’t even eligible for the credit. He goes on to say: “If the pigs at Prudential Insurance want a posh new corporate tower in downtown Newark let them build it themselves.”
Baristanet asked Jon Whiten, Director of Communications & Technology for New Jersey Policy Perspective, to comment. He responded in an email:
The subsidy fell under the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit program, and it is supposed to “create” 400 new jobs. A couple of points on the deal:
The details still haven’t been nailed down, and now there is a land-swap with NJPAC on the table.
Profitable corporations shouldn’t be given tax subsidies to move headquarters just a few miles or blocks down the road.
More broadly, the use of these tax subsidies — particularly when negotiating for companies to stay in state, rather than when negotiating to bring new companies here — has gotten out of hand. The end result is a race to the bottom where the only actors who “win” are the corporations who save tax dollars, and the politicians who point to these deals as economic development triumphs.
What do you think? Does this amount to “corporate welfare for the Pru” as Occupy Essex believes — or does it make good economic sense to entice job-creating corporations to stay in state?