State’s incentives overhaul lauded at NAIOP conference

Andrew George//October 21, 2014//

State’s incentives overhaul lauded at NAIOP conference

Andrew George//October 21, 2014//

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Dan Breen, executive vice president of business and economic incentives for Jones Lang LaSalle, says that, for years, Pennsylvania has “talked about its cost advantage relative to New Jersey” in regards to business attraction and retention.

But Breen, speaking Tuesday in Edison at a conference held by the state chapter of NAIOP, says that while Pennsylvania has dialed back its incentive offerings in recent years as New Jersey and its traditionally high business costs began to pose less of a threat, the Garden State has chosen to flip the script with last year’s Economic Opportunity Act, the long awaited corporate incentives overhaul streamlining five existing programs into two.

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“Well, now they’re worried,” Breen said

BLS Strategies executive managing director Jay Biggins said that he believes the new incentive programs have proven to be successful in their first year of implementation. He says that, so far, “the numbers speak for themselves.”

“It’s a shock and awe kind of impact,” Biggins said. “I think it’s been hugely successful.”

Biggins added that, fundamentally, it would now be “irresponsible” for companies to not consider New Jersey in their plans, given all that is available to them. He also commended the state for actively engaging practitioners and seeking out “industry input” as it continues to develop its incentive offerings.

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“It’s a credit to the state that they really want to know the market and what would be effective in practical terms,” Biggins said.

Sills Cummis & Gross real estate attorney Ted Zangari said that one of the best features of the new programs is that they’re not limiting, instead opening up the entire state to varying incentive options and, essentially, the free market.

“This has been a beautiful program to watch unfold,” Zangari said.


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