Southern Public Administration Education Foundation

An Examination of the Effect of Taxation As An Incentive in Revitalizing Urban Local Economic Development in Elizabeth, New Jersey

Author: JANE BECKETT-CAMARATA
Published in PFM, Vol. 3 No. 3

This paper examines the relationship between business climate (tax incentives) and economic development in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Its purpose is to understand how the city uses taxation as an incentive in its local economic development policy to revitalize the city and to explore the policy implications for urban revitalization. The research consists of two parts: (1) analyses of qualitative data on business climate and (2) a face to face interview with the mayor. The findings have important policy implications because they provide evidence to support the bureaucratic decisions to pursue tax policies in economic development planning. The findings, consistent with prior research, suggest that (1) people, not jobs, are the driving force in economic development, and (2) economic revitalization may be less a function of the level of taxes in place and more a function of the proper mix of taxes and their relationship to economic development.

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