Subaru of America President and Chief Operating Officer Thomas Doll said he was “blindsided” by Gov. Chris Christie's plan to end a nearly 40-year-old reciprocal tax agreement between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, according to a new report Monday by The Philadelphia Inquirer.
As a result, Doll told the Inquirer, the company is currently re-evaluating its plans to build a new national headquarters complex in Camden, relocating from Cherry Hill to Campbell Soup Co.-owned land in the city’s Gateway District.
"Had we known about this before our construction of headquarters and our national training center, we may have reached a different conclusion," Doll told the paper. "It would have factored into whether we moved."
Doll added that the headquarters build was underway, but the company was “evaluating our options” for a planned national training center nearby.
Aided by a 10-year, $118 million Grow New Jersey award from the state Economic Development Authority, Subaru plans on creating 100 new jobs at the site in addition to the relocation and retention of another 500 state-based employees. The EDA has previously estimated the project’s net benefit to yield roughly $168 million back to the state over a 35-year period.
Last month, Christie announced his intentions to scrap the agreement, in place since 1977, which allows commuters between the two states to pay the tax rate in their home state. The additional revenues raised as a result would go towards filling budget holes that Christie spokesperson Brian Murray has said was “intentionally” created by Democratic legislators to “benefit their public employee union bosses.”
The plan, which is essentially effective as of Jan. 1, has been sharply criticized by Democrats on both sides of the Delaware River.
The Inquirer story also included negative feedback from a Campbell spokesman and from Destination Maternity Chief Administrative Officer Ronald Masciantonio.
In 2013, Destination Maternity secured a 10-year, $40 million EDA award to relocate to Burlington County from Philadelphia. At the time, the company planned on bringing up to 620 full-time jobs to New Jersey.
"An advantage for us in recruiting was there's no difference tax-wise where you live," Masciantonio told the Inquirer. "I have no doubt we'll lose people once they see their paychecks impacted in January."