HOBOKEN – Not everyone is happy about New Jersey's generous corporate tax breaks that helped lure publishing giant Pearson Education to Hoboken.
A coalition representing education, labor, and community advocates are planning to protest the state's $66 million tax credit subsidy to Pearson on Thursday, at the Hoboken Ferry Terminal, 1 Hudson St., beginning at 12:30 p.m.
The protestors plan to brandish a large fake check made out to Pearson.
The state subsidy program provides subsidies to corporations to retain and attract jobs to New Jersey.
Pearson North America spokeswoman, Wendy Spiegel said in a statement.
Officials with the publishing company, which has pre-leased five stories of the 14-story building Waterfront Corporate Center III, at 221 River St., said at the groundbreaking in Dec. 2012 they plan to relocate 900 employees to Hoboken from Upper Saddle River and Old Tappan in 2014.
"The businesses of Pearson and the talented employees who work with us in the state of New Jersey have a decades-long history working in the state," Pearson North America spokeswoman, Wendy Spiegel, said in a statement. "We are committed to this state and, as we relocate our offices from Upper Saddle River to Hoboken, the number of New Jersey employees will remain constant with the move."
New Jersey Economic Development Authority President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Lizura said in December that Pearson would receive a state Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit of up to $66 million. In return, the company must retain at least 700 jobs in northern New Jersey for at least 10 years and keep 1,700 people employed statewide in each of the 10 years.
Critics say that the tax credit programs has failed to bring the state’s unemployment rate in line with neighboring states and takes money away from investment in education and other social programs.
Speakers slated to speak at the protest will be Bill Holland, executive director, of New Jersey Working Families Alliance, Stan Karp, director of Secondary Reform Project, Education Law Center, and Leonie Haimson, executive director, Class Size Matters.
Pearson Education publishes textbooks and produces a range of other educational materials for students and teachers.
Legislation designed simplify the state’s economic development tax incentives was approved by the Assembly yesterday.