A task force the Murphy administration put together to investigate potential abuse and fraud of New Jersey’s multibillion-dollar corporate tax break programs is delaying a June 11 hearing, as well as the release of its findings, according to a Friday announcement.
The move comes a day after George Norcross, a South Jersey powerbroker, filed a restraining order along with several businesses against Gov. Phil Murphy to shut down the investigation.
The task force has, in recent months, scrutinized how several of those businesses with ties to Norcross may have benefited from the program, either by providing false information about plans to move out of state, or crafting the program to benefit certain companies.
“The court presiding over the litigation asked that the task force postpone the hearing and issuance of its first report to permit the court to review the issues raised in the motion, and the task force agreed,” reads the Friday statement.
The Tuesday meeting, which was to be held in Trenton, was rescheduled for June 17 but the location and time were not immediately clear.
Thursday’s restraining order and a similarly-natured lawsuit brought last month against Murphy and the task force were both filed in Mercer County Superior Court by many of the same plaintiffs including, in addition to Norcross, insurance firm Conner Strong & Buckelew, where Norcross is a partner; NFI; The Michaels Organization; Cooper University Health, where Norcross sits on the board; and law firm Parker McCay where George’s brother Philip is a partner.
The suit and restraining order argue the Murphy administration overstepped its authority by granting the task force its current level of power.
“We are confident that the governor’s authority to appoint the task force will be upheld, and should the court permit the hearing to go forward, we will provide notice to the public about the location and date of the rescheduled proceedings,” reads the Friday statement.