Secaucus officials angrily blast state tax deal offered to Panasonic

SECAUCUS – Secaucus town officials announced Monday night that electronics giant Panasonic, currently based in Secaucus, is considering a move from its campus on Meadowlands Parkway to another town.
The company is looking at options both within the state of New Jersey and elsewhere, with Newark being the top contender to land the company and 800 jobs it will take with it wherever it moves.
In an effort to keep the company in-state, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) has offered Panasonic about $100 million in tax incentives to stay in the Garden State.
However Monday night, just hours after learning of the tax deal, Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli angrily stated that the incentives being offered by the EDA are a violation of the agency’s mission, which he said is to lure companies from other states to New Jersey, not to help companies move from one municipality to another within the state.
The EDA made its decision over the mayor’s written objections, which were expressed in letters to the state last year.
Town officials are now weighing other options to protest the EDA decision and say they will work closely with Hartz Mountain Industries, which owns Panasonic’s Meadowlands Parkway headquarters, to halt the Newark tax deal.
Losing Panasonic to Newark could have a long-lasting ripple effect in Secaucus. Panasonic’s Meadowlands Parkway headquarters generates millions of dollars in tax revenue for the town, according to Town Administrator David Drumeler, and the mayor noted the company has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to local organizations and charities. – E. Assata Wright

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