The Latest: Norcross says tax credit report is inaccurate

The Latest on New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's tax credit task force (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

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A Democratic political powerbroker is asking lawmakers for a chance to clear what he called the "clouds of suspicion" surrounding him and firms tied to him in light of a critical task force report on tax credits.

In a letter to legislators on Tuesday, George Norcross said the report issued Monday by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy's task force had factual inaccuracies and "gross misstatements."

Norcross is executive chairman of insurance brokerage Conner Strong & Buckelew and chairs the board of Cooper University Health.

The report said that if not for changes authored by lobbyists, Conner Strong wouldn't have gotten a tax credit of the size of the $86 million awarded. Norcross disputes that conclusion.

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3:45 p.m.

Cooper University Health says that a New Jersey task force's report on tax credits is "biased, one-sided ... and misleading."

The Camden-based health system issued the statement Monday, a day after Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy's task force published its report criticizing the 2013 tax credit program.

Cooper was awarded $40 million in tax credits. The report says that Cooper had initially told the state it was not going to move some jobs out of the state, then said it was considering Philadelphia as an option. Under the law, companies considering leaving the state could get higher awards.

Cooper questioned the accuracy of the report's facts and its overall findings.

Cooper's board chairman is George Norcross, who is suing Murphy over the task force. He has said through his attorneys that it was invalidly formed and has defamed him and companies linked to him.

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3:20 p.m.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says a state task force's report on business tax incentives shows the system is "rigged."

The remarks from Murphy came at an unrelated news conference Tuesday, a day after the report was issued following a judge's rejection of a lawsuit aimed at blocking its release.

Murphy, a Democrat, says the report shows that the state's expiring tax incentive program, which dates to 2013, was "designed by special interests" to help themselves.

The 75-page report concluded that the program was authored in part by private parties whose business interests benefited from it. It also said the state department overseeing the program needed more controls over the incentives.

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12:40 p.m.

A New Jersey state task force found private stakeholders, particularly linked to influential Democratic power broker George Norcross, helped craft tax credits to benefit their business interests.

The 75-page report by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy's tax credit task force came out late Monday, soon after a judge ruled the report was in the public's interest. That came despite a legal challenge by George Norcross and the firms covered in the report.

Norcross is executive chairman of insurance brokerage Conner Strong & Buckelew and chairs the board of Cooper University Health in Camden.

He's a major Democratic fundraiser and former Camden County party chairman. Norcross, Conner Strong, Cooper and other firms mentioned during a task force hearing and in the report had sued Murphy, saying the panel is defaming them.