Veto override an option if Murphy shoots down Grow NJ extension, Sweeney says.

 
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Byline: Daniel J. Munoz

The state Legislature's top Democrat said a veto override is always an option if Gov. Phil Murphy shoots down a bill that would extend the state's controversial corporate tax breaks for a year.

Those incentives, like the multi-billion dollar Grow New Jersey tax credits, expire in July. Murphy wants to let the program lapse when it expires, even if it means there is nothing in its place.

An Assembly committee is slated to vote on Assembly Bill 5343 on Thursday. The measure would extend Grow NJ for a year while lawmakers and the administration hash out a new set of incentives.

"Well then that's what'll happen, you saw with the dark money bill, I can't get anything done without the governor and the speaker, and it goes the same way for them," Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd District, said in an hour-long editorial meeting with NJBIZ on Tuesday.

"We were going to override the governor yesterday, and there wasn't a question we had the votes to do it, that's why the governor agreed to sign the bill," Sweeney added.

"The status quo on tax incentives is unsustainable and indefensible," Darryl Isherwood, a spokesperson for the governor's office, responded in a statement. "Extending bad legislation is not the way to attract business in our state... While the deadline is fast approaching, we believe there is still time to work with the Legislature to pass comprehensive tax incentive reform before the current programs expire."

Grow NJ has fallen under intense scrutiny from the Murphy administration in recent months. A task force Murphy put together highlighted how several businesses with strong ties to South Jersey powerbroker George Norcross may have benefited from the program, either by providing false information about plans to move out of the state, or crafting the...

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