It’s Not Just the Sixers: Jersey Is Paying Big to Lure New Jobs

Subsidies for private businesses have soared under Chris Christie.

Photo | Mel Evans

Photo | Mel Evans

There’s been some grumbling locally this week about New Jersey’s $82 million package to lure the Sixers headquarters and practice facilities to Camden. That’s part of a broader strategy by Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to lure jobs to the state through massive subsidies: He’s granted $4 billion in such subsidies during his governorship — up from $1.2 billion granted by the state the 10 years before he took office.

The average cost of the subsidy package has soared to $75.9 million from $10.1 million and the amount of tax forgiveness per promised job has jumped to $47,916, from $16,430, according to New Jersey Policy Perspective. Just this week, the state announced $82 million in tax breaks to the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team to move its training facility from Pennsylvania to Camden.

“We’ve never seen anything like this,” said Gordon MacInnes, the president of Policy Perspective, “where such large chunks were granted to a handful of corporations.”

In the meantime, Christie’s administration is having trouble making the pension payments it promised state workers during an earlier round of reform. Coincidence?

[The New York Times]