The New Jersey Comptroller’s audit of state tax incentive programs administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority that was released today paints a troubling picture of tax dollars wasted on lavish corporate welfare programs at the expense of New Jersey taxpayers. The audit shows that the programs were ineffective, lacked appropriate accountability and failed to deliver the promised economic benefits despite their high price tag. NJEA President Marie Blistan released this statement:
“We have been sounding the alarm about these wasteful, ineffective corporate giveaways for years. They have always been a way to give the hard-earned tax dollars of working families to wealthy corporations and business owners and they have rarely, if ever, delivered the benefits promised to working people. Today’s audit shows that the abuses were as bad as we always feared. It also shows, definitively, that we should not continue to divert precious New Jersey tax dollars toward unnecessary corporate welfare programs.
“We are glad that Gov. Murphy’s administration is telling New Jersey taxpayers the truth about how their tax dollars were wasted under the previous administration. We urge the Legislature and the Murphy administration to end this failed approach and instead invest in the things that really help New Jersey’s students and working families: a $15 minimum wage, full funding of our public schools, affordable higher education and other progressive policies that put tax dollars to work for the people who are the heart and soul of our state’s economy and the best hope for a prosperous future.
“It’s time to stop letting corporations hold us hostage with threats to move, only to take our tax dollars and offer no benefit in return. Instead, let’s invest in our schools and in our people. Smart employers will understand that New Jersey is the best place to build a successful business because it offers a talented workforce, vibrant communities and a quality of life that makes people want to live here. We should invest in the quality of life and stop paying ransoms to corporations that don’t care about New Jersey’s working families.”
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