New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed an executive order directing the state comptroller to conduct an audit of the Economic Development Authority’s tax incentive programs.
Murphy says the EDA approved $8 billion in tax incentives since 2010 and the audit will compare the actual economic impact with the projected benefits when the awards were granted.
“We’re going to look back at the types of jobs that were created and where they were created. And we’re going to examine the entire application process including the fees that were paid to lobbyists and consultants.”
Murphy says the culture needs to change to help small companies and grow startup innovation businesses.
“Small business owners are doing really well, notwithstanding the fact you’ve been ignored by both an administration and by the Economic Development Authority which has put historically over the past eight years an outsized focus on rewarding only the biggest businesses with the biggest tax breaks.”
Roy Lamanna is the CEO and cofounder of Vydia, a video technology company in Holmdel. He says New Jersey is not one of the best states to grow a startup company from scratch and hopes Murphy makes changes in economic development programs.
“I’m not getting too excited just yet. I want to see what exactly is going to be going on. But the idea that just a couple days into office he already is attacking and understanding that this is an important issue for developing like a technology ecosystem in New Jersey definitely gives me high hopes.”
Jon Whiten with New Jersey Policy Perspective believes the audit is an important first step
“We look forward to working with the governor and the legislature and other leaders in using that information to get a broader set of reforms done that would help more small businesses and incubators and things like that.”