The Camden We Choose Coalition, representing several progressive organizations in Camden County, today announced that it has filed petitions to compel major employers in the town of Camden to disclose the number of local residents they hire.
“For too long, powerful special interests have used Camden as a riverside playground, taking advantage of tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks while leaving families living in Camden neighborhoods behind,” said Ronsha Dickerson, one of the coalition’s campaigners, in a statement. statement. “The order we are proposing would demand transparency and enforce accountability by demonstrating, once and for all, whether large employers have had a real impact in creating economic opportunity for Camden residents.”
If the petitions are accepted and the City Clerk decides the question is valid, Camden City Council will either have to pass the coalition’s proposed ordinance or allow it to go directly to voters via a November referendum.
Tax breaks for Camden businesses have long come under scrutiny; Governor Phil Murphy’s administration has been embroiled in a years-long legal battle on tax breaks given to companies with ties to South Jersey Democratic power broker George Norcross, who hailed the tax breaks as helping fund Camden’s “rebirth”.
“For years, Camden County Democrats, led by George Norcross, have imposed a corruption tax on Camden families, all the while claiming they are big philanthropists,” said New Jersey executive Sue Altman. Working Families Party, a longtime opponent of the Camden Democrat organization. “These companies received over $1 billion in state grants – supposedly to create jobs in a city that has long suffered from disinvestment and poverty, and we’re supposed to accept that without data? On which planet?