Earlier this week, the New Jersey Legislature overwhelmingly approved a $11.5 billion tax incentive bill- NJ A4 (20R)– aimed at attracting businesses to New Jersey and preventing businesses from leaving the State. The $11.5 billion allocated in the bill revives the State’s tax incentive program, which lapsed 18 months ago. The money can be awarded over the next seven years. Despite the concerns about process voiced from both sides of the aisle, the bill passed the Assembly (68-11) and Senate (38-1) and now heads to Governor Murphy, who is expected to sign it into law. Some lawmakers were also concerned that small businesses were not being provided enough assistance.
While encouraged by the pro-business motivation of the massive incentive package, the final bill won’t do much to directly help Main Street businesses in New Jersey. Frankly, Main Street would be happy if the Legislature and Murphy administration scaled back government regulations that serve as a dis-incentive to keeping businesses in the Garden State.
Many Main Street businesses, like dealerships, are inextricably connected to the communities in which they operate. They don’t have the luxury of playing one state against another, based on the availability of generous tax incentives.
A strong business environment is good for ALL businesses. Now that the State tax incentive program has been reinstated, it is an excellent time for legislators to focus on the needs of the local and Main Street businesses that are the backbone of the State’s economy.