AP NEWS

The Latest: Hospital says it had no plans relocate jobs

May 3, 2019

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on a task force that revealed Cooper Health System received millions in tax incentives (all times local):

A Camden hospital says they had no intention of moving jobs out of New Jersey and has complied with the law since applying to statewide program geared at bringing jobs to the area.

Cooper Health System said in an email Thursday they’ve “exceeded all commitments and requirements” established in the program and said “no” when asked if jobs were at risk of leaving the state. The hospital said they have invested $15 million into a project that would relocate 372 employees to Camden. The facility now has over 500 employees.

A task force found that the hospital collected $13 million in tax incentives by claiming it was considering moving some operations to Philadelphia.

The panel said Cooper certified in 2014 that the tax credits were a material factor in deciding whether to relocate jobs from suburban Camden to Camden and that it was considering moving those jobs to Philadelphia.

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6 p.m.

A task force has found that a Camden hospital chaired by one of New Jersey’s most powerful Democrats collected $13 million in state tax incentives by claiming it was considering moving some operations to Philadelphia, when that was apparently not an option.

The task force presented its findings Thursday on Cooper Health System. Cooper’s chairman is George Norcross, a longtime Democratic powerbroker who holds no elected office.

The panel said Cooper certified in 2014 that it was considering moving some offices to Philadelphia, and that getting the tax credits was a factor in deciding whether to keep them in New Jersey.

The task force said the health system, however, answered “no” in its application when asked if jobs were at risk of leaving the state.

Messages were left with Cooper and Norcross seeking comment.

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5 p.m.

A task force has found that a Camden hospital chaired by one of New Jersey’s most powerful Democrats collected $13 million in state tax incentives by claiming it was considering moving some of its operations to Philadelphia, when that was apparently not an option.

The task force, which is investigating the state’s business tax credits, presented its findings on the Cooper Health System at a hearing Thursday. Cooper’s chairman is George Norcross, a longtime Democratic powerbroker who holds no elected office.

The panel said Cooper certified in 2014 that it was considering moving some suburban Camden offices to Philadelphia, and that getting the tax credits was a “material factor” in deciding whether to keep them in New Jersey.

The task force said the health system, however, answered “no” in its application when asked if jobs were at risk of leaving the state.

Messages left with Cooper and Norcross seeking their comment were not immediately returned.

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12:30 p.m.

A task force investigating New Jersey’s multi-billion dollar business tax incentive programs is holding its second public hearing.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy created the task force this year after a state comptroller’s audit showed the state authority that oversees the programs failed in some cases to verify that businesses met required benchmarks.

Thursday’s hearing comes a day after reports by The New York Times and WNYC raised questions about how the tax-credit legislation was written and then doled out in Camden.

The reports led Murphy to suggest a “total revamp” of the programs overseen by the Economic Development Authority is needed.

Murphy has criticized programs enacted under his Republican predecessor Chris Christie. Those programs expire June 30. Murphy says he wants to cap how much state awards in credits.

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11:45 a.m.

A task force investigating New Jersey’s multi-billion dollar business tax incentive programs is holding its second public hearing.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy created the task force this year after a state comptroller’s audit showed the state authority that oversees the programs failed in some cases to verify that businesses met required benchmarks.

Thursday’s hearing comes a day after reports by The New York Times and WNYC raised questions about how the tax-credit legislation was written and then doled out in Camden.

The reports led Murphy to suggest a “total revamp” of the programs overseen by the Economic Development Authority is needed.

Murphy has criticized programs enacted under his Republican predecessor Chris Christie. Those programs expire June 30. Murphy says he wants to cap how much state awards in credits.