Murphy promised a cold, hard assessment of things. While most of the talk centered on improvements his administration’s made, there were a couple candid moments like when the moderator asked about New Jersey’s competitive business position.
"If you’re a one issue voter and tax rate is your issue, either a family or a business, it that’s the only basis upon which you’re going to make a decision, we’re probably not your state,” he said.
But pair that with education systems, location, quality of life and such, and Murphy believes New Jersey can compete with anybody. Witness the 1,200 new jobs announced during a weeklong trip to India.
And, by the way, he’s working on that tax issue, along with government pensions and the like.
The state is redoing the business tax incentive plan, one the governor insists failed under Chris Christie.
“We were 42nd, 47th and 49th, that’s out of 50 by the way, in job growth, wage growth and measures of poverty eradication over the previous decade,” the governor added. “We’re not even in the playoffs, never mind having a shot at the Super Bowl."
Murphy supports capped, targeted incentives with proof of performance and continues to wrangle with the legislature over the program.
The governor’s bottom line? He says the state’s making progress toward balancing business and social needs, but more has to be done.