NEWARK, NJ — As part of a push for a new tax incentives program that would overhaul the state’s system of lenient corporate tax breaks, Gov. Phil Murphy toured and spoke at Launch Pad Newark on Thursday presenting optimism that reforms will yield more coworking spaces and reward local hiring across the city and state.
Following Tuesday elections, the visit comes at what Murphy said is the perfect time for the five-part set of incentives to be passed into law and restore balance to a system that has benefited bad actors and failed to provide job growth.
“We have too few spaces like this in New Jersey, and there’s no reason for that,” he said. “We have all the talent and all the elements that would make people want to come to a great city like Newark.”
The program is focused on meeting the needs of the new economy by supporting high-wage, high-growth sectors like tech and life sciences as well as businesses like Launch Pad, which reduce overhead costs for entrepreneurs and encourage collaboration and partnerships.
Dozens of startup and small businesses are located in LaunchPad, including the editorial offices of TAPinto Newark. Alex McGee, founder and CEO of McGee Ryan Assets and a member of Launch Pad Newark, said expanding the presence of coworking space is a step in the right direction.
“The entrepreneurial spirit is what my generation is made of, I think the governor is doing the right thing.”
Accompanied by Tim Sullivan, CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Murphy shared that the development of supporting programs like the NJEDA’s NJ Ignite will nurture goals of the new tax incentives by providing funding for rent and overhead, allowing companies to put more money into research and development.
The governor’s series incentive programs would cap at $400 million to prevent what Murphy referred to as the system being “jobbed” under the old program, which has yielded more than $11 billion in tax breaks for corporations. Murphy announced that he has made significant headway in recent months in bringing legislators on board with the proposal.
Murphy said legislators have contributed additional value to the plan, such as ensuring that its scope is wide enough to accommodate transformative potential projects like housing development. Addressing food deserts via incentives, or areas deprived of access to grocery stores, has also been brought to the table.