By Matthew Arco | June 10th, 2014 - 12:58pm
| More
GOP lawmaker criticizes administration's $82M 'free gift' to Philadelphia 76ers

TRENTON – A Republican state senator lashed out Tuesday against Gov. Chris Christie for what he called an $82 million “free gift from the hard-pressed taxpayers of New Jersey” to the wealthy owner of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team.

Sen. Mike Doherty criticized the Republican governor’s decision to laud the announcement earlier this week of the 76ers to build a new $82 million practice facility in Camden. Doherty says the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s unanimous decision to approve a tax credit for the construction of the facility amounts to a “free gift.”

“Governor Christie states that we have an $800 million budget shortfall. Then why is New Jersey providing an $82 million gift for a billionaire?” Doherty asked in a statement released today, referring to the team’s owner, Joshua Harris.

“Local governments are being forced to cut to the bone,” he said. “Why are we opening up the money spigot to take care of a billionaire? How can New Jersey not make this year’s full pension payment, but the state government can find an extra $82 million for a basketball practice facility?”

Doherty issued the statement shortly after the EDA approved the tax credit for the project, and a day after Christie announced the construction of the facility during a trip to Camden.

The left-leaning New Jersey Policy Perspective agreed with Doherty in its own statement opposing the deal.

“In return for the team's agreement to build a practice facility in Camden and shift 250 jobs across the Delaware River, New Jersey will match the team's investment dollar for dollar, giving up $82 million in tax revenue over a decade in the process – despite the fact that the team is worth $469 million and hardly needs a tax break to build a facility,” said NJPP in a statement.

However, local Statehouse representatives for the area lauded the deal as part of an “ongoing mission to address the three crucial aspects of the city’s revitalization: public safety, education and economic growth,” said state Sen. Donald Norcross, a Democrat who’s running to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-1) in Congress.

“The recently announced plans for two supermarkets, significant investment in higher education and healthcare facilities and expanding businesses in the city are bringing the family-sustaining jobs that our residents need,” he said in a statement. “We expect more major announcements just like this one in the coming months and years as the Camden turn around takes root.”

The Back Room

Christie takes state helicopter to campaign in Connecticut

Gov. Chris Christie took the "upper level" -- helicoptering over the George Washington Bridge -- to beat rush hour traffic from his home state to a recent GOP fundraiser with Connecticut gubernatorial contender Tom Foley, according to a Hearst Media report.

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 24th

  Of friends, enemies, transactions and transportation: the evolving political relationship of Bob Menendez and Steve Fulop The image yesterday in Washington D.C. of powerful U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) walking the hallways with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop sent a signal of Menendez’s willingness to get behind...

Op-Ed

NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >

Contributors

 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger

Poll

Which contest are you most focused on this coming season?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources