New Jersey Will Pay $40 Million to Create 21 Jobs in Camden
Two million dollars. That’s what a single new job in Camden is worth to the state of New Jersey.
The state’s Economic Development Authority voted to approve a $40 million tax break so that Actega North America Inc., a company that makes coatings, sealants and inks, will build a new headquarters in Camden, bring 79 existing employees to the site, and create 21 new jobs, the Inquirer reported this morning. The site, which is on Admiral Wilson Boulevard, was the subject of earlier plans to develop a ShopRite, which would have been just the second supermarket in Camden. Those plans fell through, but neither the site’s owner nor ShopRite is saying why.
New Jersey has been funneling breathtaking amounts of tax money into Camden under Gov. Chris Christie. An Associated Press investigation found that the Economic Development Authority had approved $630 million worth of tax breaks for development in Camden in a single year. Many of the beneficiaries had notable political connections that could help Christie’s career, the AP found. (This was before Christie revealed that his capacity for self-debasement had no limit.)
Many of the companies being drawn to Camden with enticing tax incentives are already located in New Jersey, leading to questions about the value of the giveaways. Naturally, politicians want to do something for Camden, which is among the poorest cities in the country, but there’s no guarantee that the companies moving there will hire Camden residents for the new positions they create.
The Economic Development Authority is also the same agency that gave $82 million to the Philadelphia 76ers to build a new practice facility (practice facility!) across the river. It all makes one wonder how long the generosity can last.
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