Rev. Levi Combs is leading a new coalition of community organizations in Camden, called Grassroots. Their message: The people of Camden are being left out of the revitalization of the city’s downtown.
The merits of tax incentives awarded by the state’s Economic Development Authority’s Grow NJ program to corporations moving into Camden have been hotly debated in Trenton. Some claim incentives allow businesses to avoid paying property taxes for a decade, leaving Camden without much-needed tax ratables. But others, like Camden County Freeholder Director Lou Cappelli, argue that without the incentives, there would be no reason for companies to even consider Camden.
The coalition is asking for a seat at the table, saying that if they were part of the process, the changes could better meet the community’s needs.
One of the next steps for the Grassroots Coalition will be engaging corporations that have come into Camden to see how they can develop programs that will better support the community.