From the APP:
New Jersey needs a more business-friendly climate or it will continue to lose companies and skilled workers to lower-cost states, Gov. Corzine’s economic growth chief said Wednesday.
Gary Rose said improving the state’s poor reputation is like turning a steamship around, but it is the only way of increasing tax revenue without raising taxes.
“We’re clearly at the . . . point that, like it or not, we’ll make decisions over the next few years that will determine whether New Jersey is a tier-one state,” Rose said.
Rose spoke to about 150 people at a forum sponsored by New Jersey Leadership, a nonprofit organization that provides leadership training. Its theme: Can New Jersey win in the global economy?
The answer wasn’t clear. New Jersey touts a highly skilled work force and a prized location in the densely populated Northeast. But it remains a high-cost state in an economy that seems to reward locations with the lowest costs.
And experts said it has a long list of problems that are enough to drive growing businesses to other states or countries.
Rose said the state has begun to win over some companies — a notable change from previous years, when companies left New Jersey for more favorable business climates.
But experts said the success stories are overshadowed by New Jersey’s reputation, which, deserved or not, makes it difficult to compete in the global economy.