Office of the Governor
DiFransesco Announces Commitment to Job
Growth and Economic Development in South Jersey
Acting Governor Addresses the
Burlington County Chamber of Commerce
Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco expressed his commitment to South Jersey's economic development and job growth during today's address to the Burlington County Chamber of Commerce. DiFrancesco highlighted his support for corporate and property tax cuts, high technology opportunities and local transportation funds.
"It all comes down to one important element -- jobs. I want to make sure the economy here stays vibrant. And that means new jobs and new opportunities," remarked DiFrancesco.
"I want to reduce the tax burden for New Jersey residents, so they can keep more of what they earn. I've made it clear that I want to work with the Legislature to provide significant property tax relief this year," stated the acting Governor.
One of the first bills the acting Governor signed was to eliminate the corporation business tax on the regular income of so-called S Corporations. He sponsored legislation to provide property tax relief and to send an extra $100 million to mayors and town councils that must be used for direct property tax relief. These proposals recently passed the Senate.
The acting Governor announced plans for a new proposal to be released next month detailing the state's commitment to high-tech opportunities in South Jersey, which will help market the strengths of the region to prospective employers.
"Burlington County has been a tremendous partner in our efforts to attract and retain businesses. Together, we helped Merck-Medco build a pharmacy fulfillment center that will mean 815 new jobs. We also helped smaller firms, such as Ball Plastic Container and Roosevelt Paper. Both companies have exceeded the job expectations with the help of our Business Incentive Grant Program," stated DiFrancesco.
DiFrancesco also highlighted his strong support for ensuring local military bases remain safe from realignment or closure, securing new facilities and missions to keep military bases viable, and promoting the legislative package that will help Lockheed-Martin reduce costs as it competes for the next generation of Navy destroyers.
Should Lockheed win that contract, it not only will secure the company's position as a vital part of Burlington's economy, it will also be beneficial to the many local subcontractors.
"Transportation is the lifeblood of any successful economy. That's why we are investing $500 million in the light-rail line between Camden and Trenton, set to be completed in 2003. This is the biggest investment ever in a transportation project in South Jersey and goes to the heart of economic and community revitalization. Building this line will provide jobs and attract people and businesses all along its route," stated DiFrancesco.
"Finally, I am directing the Commissioner of Labor to develop a workplace basic skills program. When completed, this program is designed to enable workers to acquire five basic skills - reading, math, computer skills, worker readiness and English proficiency."
"My purpose is clear: let's build a well-educated workforce for tomorrow in South and North Jersey, but let's also make sure today's workers can get the job done - for their sake and their employer's," concluded DiFrancesco.