Business incentives booming in New Jersey since 2010, but critics question their effectiveness

Government And Institutions Associated Press

New Jersey's tax incentives for businesses moving to the state or promising to stay have boomed since Republican Chris Christie became governor five years ago.

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Since 2010, New Jersey has promised firms nearly $5 billion in future tax credits, including $1.8 billion this year. It's about three times as much as the state promised to try to lure companies from 1996 through 2009.

The boom has come largely because of expansions passed by the Democrat-controlled Legislature in 2009 and last year.

Many officials from both major political parties herald the programs as ways to grow jobs in a state that has lagged behind the rest of the nation. Since 2010, companies have promised 55,000 new jobs and 33,000 retained positions because of the incentives.

But critics question the programs' effectiveness.