State Senate minority leader Tom Kean has outlined a legislative plan to entice Amazon to choose New Jersey as the location to construct its $5 billion “HQ2” facility.State Senate minority leader Tom Kean has outlined a legislative plan to entice Amazon to choose New Jersey as the location to construct its $5 billion “HQ2” facility.
The New Jersey Partnership For Action, comprised of the state’s Economic Development Authority, the Business Action Center and the Office of the Secretary for Higher Education, announced earlier this week that it would work with any of the 21 counties in the state to submit a proposal to Amazon. The NJPFA gave counties a Sept. 26 deadline to respond to them.
Kean said in a press release that the facts that the state is situated near New York City and Philadelphia, and is home to universities such as Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers and Montclair State may not be enough to lure Amazon.
Legislation to create tax incentives and improve infrastructure needs to be introduced or passed, Kean said. Specifically, the state needs to:
- Improve tax incentives for STEM businesses and our technology transfer infrastructure. This will encourage a robust innovation ecosystem through enhanced research and development.
- Pursue reforms to make major green building projects less expensive and also consider incentives to retrofit and/or reuse the state’s existing office park infrastructure.
- Develop tighter permitting processes, including guaranteed timelines for major projects, and assign an ombudsman to help major employers navigate our regulations, laws and government entities.
- Limit additional burdensome labor mandates from state and local governments.
- Further expand workforce development through the expansion of vocational-technical schools and STEM opportunities in K-12 schools, and provide a preference for technology companies that may invest heavily in New Jersey.
“In this specific instance, the time frame to act may be short and the potential benefit to New Jersey enormous,” Kean said. “The Legislature should be ready to address any emergent needs in a timely fashion.”
Several locations in the state, including Princeton and Camden, have all announced that they would submit proposals to Amazon. The online retail giant also will receive bids from Massachusetts, Maryland, Dallas, Toronto and Columbus, Ohio.
“We’ve held the line on business and income taxes, slashed bureaucratic red tape and made progress in reducing the massive cost of public employee benefits that many other states around the country have struggled to address,” Kean said. “Ultimately, these successes will lower costs and increase affordability for any business looking to set up shop or expand in New Jersey.”