The Latest: Murphy backs Christie's effort to attract Amazon

Markets Associated Press

The Latest on New Jersey's efforts to attract Amazon's new headquarters (all times local):

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4:50 p.m.

New Jersey Democratic candidate for governor says he backs Chris Christie and legislators' efforts to attract Amazon to the state.

Phil Murphy said in a letter on Wednesday that a "unified" approach will give the state the "strongest possible proposal" as it competes with locations across the country for Amazon's second headquarters.

Murphy did not say specifically whether he supports Christie's proposal to change the state's tax incentive program to lure Amazon to New Jersey. Democratic and Republican lawmakers backed the proposal soon after Christie unveiled it.

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1:30 p.m.

New Jersey's legislative leaders say they are behind Gov. Chris Christie's proposal to offer up to $5 billion in tax incentives to attract Amazon's new headquarters to the state.

Democratic and Republican legislative leaders have all signed a letter to Christie, a Republican, backing his proposed legislative overhaul to a tax incentive program.

The lawmakers say they support changing the Grow NJ program to allow recipients to locate anywhere in the state, not only in economically depressed cities. They say they also support letting Amazon carry forward tax credits for 50 years.

Christie's proposal came to light after a letter he wrote to the Democratic and Republican candidates to succeed him in this year's gubernatorial election was obtained by The Associated Press.

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12:10 p.m.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is betting that changing a state tax incentive program that has awarded billions of dollars will help attract billions more in investment from Amazon.

But whether the Democrat-led Legislature will go along with his new proposals is unclear.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto says he supports the idea. But Senate President Steve Sweeney hasn't responded to a request for comment.

The Republican governor has asked for the help of the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates looking to succeed him. He's already got the support of Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

Democrat Phil Murphy's campaign said Wednesday he's expected to reply by Friday.

Christie is proposing expanding the Grow NJ program including by allowing tax credits to be carried forward for 50 years.