Lawmakers, industry groups confer on drumming up business in N.J.

    Some Republican lawmakers met with business leaders at the Statehouse in Trenton Thursday to map out strategies for making New Jersey more attractive for business.

    Representatives of business organizations said the state’s income tax and corporate business tax and a variety of regulations can deter companies from setting up shop in New Jersey.

    Meanwhile, tax incentives are helping to make the Garden State more attractive, said Dave Brogan with the New Jersey Business and Industry Association.

    “I think that’s going to help in our competition with other states. States across the nation are developing innovative and very attractive incentives and tax policies to lure businesses away from New Jersey,” Brogan said. “You see what New York has done with the tax free zones. They’ve lowered their business corporate tax.”

    Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg said New Jersey should shift the focus of those incentives to industries that can create the most jobs.

    “There needs to be a shift of where we’re going to focus those programs when it comes to industry and where it’s going to be the most productive in job creation,” said Rodriguez-Gregg, R-Burlington. “There’s certainly good opportunities in New Jersey for the pharmaceutical industry, so we need to maybe focus there.”

    She said she is optimistic about the prospects for improvement in the state’s economy as long as no new taxes are enacted that could adversely affect the business community.

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