By Chris J. Murphy of Murphy Partners LLP
On Tuesday, February 13, 2018, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will hold its monthly board meeting in Trenton. Among the actions to be taken, the Board will vote to approve the appointment of Tim Sullivan as Chief Executive Officer.
Tim Sullivan will bring years of economic development experience to the role of CEO. Since 2014, he has served as deputy commissioner to the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). Prior to his time spent in Connecticut, Sullivan served as chief of staff to the New York City deputy mayor for economic development from 2010-2013. His experience in both New York City and Connecticut should prove valuable in his new role, as he truly understands how difficult it is to compete for business and jobs in an ever-changing economy.
As we all know, historically, New Jersey has not had a stellar reputation when it comes to business friendliness. Since 2015, the Tax Foundation, a Washington DC-based think tank, has ranked New Jersey as having the worst business climate in the country. Indeed, New Jersey is one of only six states in the country with a corporate tax rate of 9% or more.
The Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (Grow NJ), however, has helped New Jersey attract and retain thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment, and remains an important tool in the state’s economic development toolbox.
Created under the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, the Grow NJ is the State’s main job creation and retention incentive program. Under the Grow NJ program, businesses creating or retaining jobs in the State may be eligible for tax credits ranging from $500 to $5,000 per job, per year; with bonus credits ranging from $250 to $3,000 per job, per year (awards vary based on applicable criteria).
The Grow NJ program has been wildly popular and incredibly successful. Since its implementation, 250 projects have received awards, totaling over $4.7 billion in tax credits. Approved applicants generally have three years to certify, or complete, a project. A project is deemed complete when the applicant has hired or retained the number of employees listed in its application, and satisfied the program’s capital investment requirements. Once certified, the 250 projects will drive over $4.6 billion in private capital investment, create over 31,000 new jobs, and retain over 35,000 jobs at risk of leaving the State.
I have no doubt that the new CEO will do an incredible job. His experience throughout the region will prove immensely valuable. His understanding of the competitive nature of economic development will color his tenure at the NJEDA. Best of luck, Tim Sullivan. We are all pulling for you.
MURPHY PARTNERS LLP
Murphy Partners LLP is a boutique law firm specializing in real estate and economic incentive advisory. Headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, the firm was founded to provide effective, efficient, and creative legal services to meet the distinctive needs of our clients. Through the development of comprehensive legal strategies, our team works tirelessly to create a blueprint for success and advance our clients’ interests in every matter.