Activist groups are calling for a halt on and an investigation into tax incentive awards granted by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority following a report by WNYC that suggested former Gov. Chris Christie’s administration pressured officials to hand out tax-breaks to companies that may not have been qualified to receive them.
“These allegations describe corruption, plain and simple, and taxpayers should be furious,” New Jersey Policy Perspective President Brandon McKoy said. “For years, NJPP and advocates for good governance have questioned the overly generous tax subsidies awarded by the Economic Development Authority, but the allegations in this whistleblower lawsuit extend far beyond lax oversight and into fraudulent, and possibly criminal, conduct.”
The EDA has been a source of growing conflict between Gov. Phil Murphy and Senate President Steve Sweeney.
Murphy wants current EDA programs nixed and replaced, while Sweeney wants the programs, which have benefitted areas of South Jersey — and Camden in particular — kept largely the same.
“This damning report suggests Chris Christie’s EDA turned a blind eye to fraudulent tax incentive applications, cooked their own books, and rushed through massive tax giveaways to big corporations,” New Jersey Working Families interim director Rob Duffey said. “If these allegations are true, people should go to jail.”