The New Jersey Economic Development Authority said that the state has been trying to lure online grocery store Fresh Direct across the river from Queens, where it currently employs 1,800 people. The state is trying to entice the grocer with a $100 million package of tax breaks, land and other subsidies, the New York Times reported.
New Jersey’s effort comes only eight months after Governor Chris Christie’s administration offered a $200 million incentive package to the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Cooperative to move from the Bronx, the Times noted, a campaign that prompted Mayor Michael Bloomberg to accuse New Jersey of bribery.
“I don’t like the idea of one state bribing a business to come,” Bloomberg said last spring. “The trouble with that is the next state can do it, too. Anybody can get in that game, and pretty soon, it’s a race to the bottom. I don’t think anybody benefits.”
Erin Gold, a spokesperson for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, who confirmed the news about New Jersey trying to lure Fresh Direct to leave New York, said: “We’re very comfortable with the incentive packages we used to attract companies,” she said.
New York state officials and the Bloomberg administration are reportedly countering with a deal that they hope will keep the company in New York.