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$5.4 billion

May 8, 2015

In 2013, the state created the Economic Opportunity Act, which advocates the use of corporate tax subsidies as a way to attract and keep jobs in the Garden State. But now some advocates are calling for a moratorium on the practice, after the state has awarded $5.4 billion since 2010 -- and $2 billion alone in 2014.

Now, the main sponsor of the act, Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) is advocating a change in the rules that determine whether a project should get the go-ahead for corporate tax subsidies.

He’s also joining with the liberal-leaning New Jersey Policy Perspective in calling for more transparency in the process. NJPP wants to place a moratorium on all new subsidy awards until Treasury produces an annual report detailing the outcomes of past tax breaks, as well as the current- and next-year cost to the state of all subsidies. The Department of the Treasury is required to produce the report as part of a 2007 law. Due to complaints, NJPP says the Economic Development Authority has begun to release some information but has yet to produce a detailed report as the law requires.

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