New Jersey has given some $1.9 billion in economic subsidies to companies of various sizes over the last five years in an effort to get them to relocate to or expand within the state, according to data from a national nonprofit policy research group.
That’s not necessarily a good thing, contend Good Jobs First — which on Thursday released a report titled “The Job-Creation Shell Game” and has made economic subsidy data for all the states available on its Subsidy Tracker website — and New Jersey Policy Perspective, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization studying state issues.
The report says that a number of states, including New Jersey, and metropolitan areas across the country waste billions of dollars every year giving out economic development subsidies to entice companies to move from one state or one area to another. The study contends that money would be better spent to create new jobs.
“What was long ago dubbed a Second War Between the States is, unfortunately, raging again in many parts of the country, and New Jersey is one of the leading participants,” said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First and principal author of the report. “The result is a vast waste of taxpayer funds, paying for the geographic reshuffling of existing jobs rather than new business activity. By pretending that these jobs are new, public officials and the recipient companies engage in what amounts to interstate job fraud.”
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