New Jersey’s main economic development program has come under fire for giving away billions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations with little evidence of substantial job creation for the state. In part two of our series “The Real Bosses of New Jersey,” produced in partnership with ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network, we look at how a powerful Democratic Party boss, George Norcross, championed the legislation that brought development to his beloved home town — and benefits for him.
Click on the player above for the story from WNYC’s Nancy Solomon. See the full report here. And check out the chart below to see the how the tax breaks were distributed around the Norcross network.
Alex Mierjeski contributed reporting; design by Clarisa Diaz. This story was produced with support from the McGraw Center for Business Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.
Our reporting on George Norcross and New Jersey’s corporate tax-break program is based on dozens of interviews over the last four months with legislators, economists, lawyers, lobbyists and activists involved in state government in New Jersey and the city of Camden, including a 45-minute interview with Norcross himself. WNYC and ProPublica reviewed hundreds of documents available publicly, released under the state’s Open Public Records Act or supplied by confidential sources. These records include voluminous data from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority documenting applications for tax breaks under the agency’s GrowNJ program, the process of approving such applications and reviews of auditor’s reports, lobbying disclosures and legal filings.