The watchdog group New Jersey Policy Perspective has issued its analysis of that state’s plan to reimburse the Philadelphia 76ers for the entire cost of a practice facility in Camden, N.J., and as you might expect, the numbers are pretty dismal:
- The state would cough up $82 million over 10 years in “tax credits,” which in this case appears to be less actual kickbacks of actual taxes than just “the public cuts you a bunch of $8.2 million checks.” That’s a present value of about $63 million.
- In exchange the state would gain 250 jobs that would shift across the river from Philadelphia, though no doubt many if not all would be part-time, given that basketball teams don’t practice 365 days a year. That’s a cost-per-job ratio of $252,000, which even in the world of corporate relocation subsidies is exceptionally craptacular.
- Even the state’s own economic projections say that the economic impact is incredibly low: $76.6 million over 35 years, for a present value of just $36 million. Adds NJPP: “That is, if the team even stays that long, since they will only be required to stay for 15 before they can seek tax breaks elsewhere.”
And it’s even worse than that, because with those part-time jobs just shifting across the Delaware River, it’s inevitable that the vast majority of workers will continue to be the same people who the 76ers employ now, living in the same states they do presently. So New Jersey would get a small bump in income tax receipts pro-rated to the handful of days per year they were in Camden, and sales taxes from anyone going out to buy lunch, and … that’s about it.
On the bright side, it’s not like the Sixers’ billionaire owner Josh Harris is getting singled out for this lavish treatment: New Jersey has already doled out $4 billion in corporate subsidies since Chris Christie became governor in 2010. Wait, that’s not a bright side. Unless you’re one of the 252 business owners who’s divvied up that swag, in which case these are very bright times indeed.