ROI-NJ: GSI panel: Legacy issues hurt N.J.’s ability to compete moving forward - Garden State Initiative

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ROI-NJ: GSI panel: Legacy issues hurt N.J.’s ability to compete moving forward

March 4, 2021

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By Tom Bergeron

Assemblyman John Burzichelli summed it up in a way that left everyone nodding their head in agreement.

“You would never structure New Jersey the way it is structured now, if you were starting today,” Burzichelli (D-West Deptford) said.

The other panelists on the webinar by Garden State Initiative, “New Jersey’s Business Climate in 2021: What will it take for New Jersey to win,” agreed. They said the state needs a fresh start — or a new set of rules — if it really wants to compete moving forward.

The competition for companies and jobs is too great. So said John Boyd Jr., principal of the Boyd Co., a Princeton-based corporate site selection firm.

“New Jersey has much to offer companies,” he said. “But economic development is very difficult. We call it the second war between the states. That’s how competitive economic development is today.”

Others, Boyd said, are winning the war on costs.

“New Jersey is a very expensive place to do business,” he said. “And there’s a common denominator among states attracting corporate investment and jobs today — states like Florida, Texas and the Carolinas. These are states that hold the line on taxes, hold the line of regulations and operate with fiscal discipline.

“We see New Jersey, unfortunately, continuing this game plan of more borrowing or taxing and more spending. That’s led to a historic outmigration of people, wealth and business. And COVID clearly has accelerated that trend to the degree where we’re going to lose representation in Washington. And, of course, that has implications upon where federal dollars are spent.”

Read the full report here.