Firm seeks $260M in incentives for Camden project

Associated PressJuly 9, 2014 

— A company that makes components for power plants is seeking a $260 million, 10-year New Jersey tax incentive to do business in Camden in a deal that would be the third-most lucrative business incentive package ever from New Jersey's state government.

The state Economic Development Authority's agenda for Thursday includes an application from Holtec International, whose products include nuclear fuel storage systems.

EDA spokeswoman Virginia Pellerin said it's the agency's policy not to give further details about incentive applications until the board's meetings. A company spokeswoman did not comment.

The company, which has offices in nearby Marlton as well as Jupiter, Florida, Ukraine and India and manufacturing operations in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, has not said publicly where in Camden it intends to establish a facility or what kind of work would be done there.

Under a state law adopted last year to encourage job growth across the state, there are special provisions to try to attract businesses to Camden, which ranks among the most impoverished cities in the U.S.

Firms going into the city can receive state corporate business tax credits over 10 years equal to the entire amount of their investment in the city. The tax credits are transferrable, so companies can sell to other businesses the credits they do not need to cover their own tax bills.

To qualify for the incentives Holtec is seeking, the company would have to have at least 250 permanent jobs in the city.

If the deal is granted, the company would be the second to take advantage of the special Camden provisions, following the Philadelphia 76ers, who were approved last month for $82 million to bring offices and a practice facility to the city.

The only tax credit incentives New Jersey has given worth more than Holtec is seeking have gone to two struggling enterprises — the American Dream development in East Rutherford and Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City.

Holtec has connections with George Norcross III, a Democratic powerbroker and major Camden booster. Norcross, who did not return a call, is a member of the company's board of directors. Holtec President and CEO K.P. Singh is also a member of the board at Cooper University Hospital, where Norcross is chairman, and for a time was part of an investment group including Norcross that owned The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.

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