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Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Coughlin says Assembly will hold hearings on EDA tax incentives

Speaker puts Gordon Johnson in charge of review

By David Wildstein, May 09 2019 5:09 pm

Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee will hold hearings to scrutinize tax incentive programs approved by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Speaker Craig Coughlin announced today.

The decision follows an announcement by Senate President Steve Sweeney that he had formed a special committee with a similar mission.

“It is obvious that the legislature needs clarity in terms of how the New Jersey Economic Development Authority is doing business,” Coughlin said. “We plan to schedule hearings conducted by the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee to fairly examine the tax incentive programs administered by the EDA, study the efficacy and viability of the programs and ensure we are maximizing the return on our investments.”

This puts a review of the EDA tax credits under the direction of committee chairman Gordon Johnson (D-Englewood), a Coughlin loyalist who was also the first legislator to endorse Phil Murphy for the 2017 Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Coughlin said that with the current tax credit programs set to expire next month “we need to determine what is working best.”

“Tax incentives are an important tool to allow New Jersey to compete with other states in maintaining existing jobs and attracting new ones,” the speaker said. “A complete list of times and dates for the hearings will be made public when finalized, at which time a full list of invited guests who will be asked to provide testimony will also be provided.”

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