Two companies that intended to move to Camden have told city officials they will relocate elsewhere as the controversy surrounding the New Jersey's tax incentive programs heats up, a representative for the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey told lawmakers today.
Christina Renna, the chamber's senior vice president, made the announcement during an Assembly committee that is examining the incentive programs. She described one of the businesses as a large employer, and the other as a mid-sized company. One of the businesses "specifically cited the political climate" as to why they are not moving to the city, she said without naming either.
"Words matter. Actions matter," Renna told the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee.
The committee is considering a bill, NJ A5343 (18R), that would extend the incentive programs, which are due to expire at the end of June, for another seven months.
Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders are butting heads over the future of the programs. About $7 billion in tax breaks have been approved since the programs were revamped in 2013, but a state comptroller's report issued in January cited lax oversight and control of the programs by the state Economic Development Authority, the agency that administers them.
A Murphy-appointed task force has dug deeper, alleging companies filed misleading paperwork that they would move out of state if they did not get the incentives. Business representatives have warned that the discussion could cause companies to leave New Jersey.