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The Latest: Report: special interests shaped NJ tax credits

June 18, 2019

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s tax incentive task force (all times local):

9:30 p.m.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s tax incentive task force says that special interests put private interests ahead of the state in a new report issued shortly after a judge’s ruling cleared the way for the document’s release.

A judge ruled earlier Monday against a legal request to block the report’s release filed by southern New Jersey executive and political powerbroker George Norcross and firms tied to him.

Judge Mary Jacobson said the public had an interest in knowing what was in the report.

Shortly after her ruling the task force released its report.

The 75-page document found that a law and lobbying firm influenced the drafting of the 2013 law setting up tax incentives. It also said that the Economic Development Authority, which oversees the incentives, did not have adequate procedures in place to make sure it had “relevant information.”

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7 p.m.

A New Jersey judge denied political powerbroker George Norcross’ request to block the release of a report by Gov. Phil Murphy’s task force investigating business tax credits.

Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled Monday after more than three hours of testimony.

Norcross, an insurance brokerage and hospital executive, and companies tied to him sued Murphy over the validity of the task force and sought to block the report’s release.

Norcross’ attorneys said the task force exercised power it didn’t legally have.

Murphy’s attorney said state law permits the governor to investigate agencies, like the Economic Development Authority, which runs the tax credit program.

Norcross’ suit came after a task force hearing questioned how firms tied to him got credits.

It’s unclear when the report will become public.

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5:25 a.m.

A dispute over business tax credits between New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and political powerbroker George Norcross is set to play out in a hearing before a Superior Court judge.

Attorneys for the Democratic governor and insurance brokerage and hospital executive are to appear before Judge Mary Jacobson Monday.

Norcross sued Murphy over a task force Murphy set up this year to investigate business tax credits. Norcross says the panel illegally exercised subpoena power.

Norcross sued Murphy after a task force hearing in May that raised questions about how firms tied to Norcross got tax credits.

Monday’s hearing is expected to cover Norcross’ attempt at stopping the task force from issuing a report and holding a third public hearing. The task force agreed to delay meeting until after Monday’s hearing.

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