The mere thought of Mercedes-Benz uprooting its US headquarters, it turns out, is enough to cause quite a ruckus.
Though the German luxury automobile maker has yet to even publicly announce any intent to move their U.S. headquarters out of the state of New Jersey, many state officials are already concerned about the repercussions of such a move. In fact, it has caused them to publicly campaign to try to keep the company, along with the roughly 1,000 jobs, within the state.
The possibility of Mercedes-Benz USA moving from their Monvale bases arose in the midst of the state ramping up its tax incentives. The move is aimed at bringing companies into the state while retaining those it already has.
In 2014 alone, the state of New Jersey has already promised more than $2 billion in tax breaks to automotive companies. One company that has agreed to stay because of it is Subaru.
The tax incentive has been widely effective. In fact, the tax break has not only attracted car companies exclusively, as the basketball team Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association already has plans to move their offices, along with their practice facility, to Camden while continuing to play in Philadelphia which is only a short drive away.
While the aforementioned tax incentives have indeed brought in new businesses, the fact still remains, though, that the state has still lost some of its major businesses. Two solid examples of this are the major car rental company Hertz Corp., which is moving from NJ to Estero, Florida, to the tune of $85 million in tax breaks, and Sealed Air Corp., the Bubble Wrap maker, which is moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, because of $35 million in tax breaks.
It is for this reason that there has been a cause for concern among lawmakers. In fact, three state lawmakers who are representing the district where the Mercedes-Benz offices are located have already written a letter to the company asking it to stay.
One of the three, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, stated that she had already spoken to Mercedes-Benz executives about incentives that await the company should they decide to stay. She further elaborated that she fully expected the company to make official announcements regarding its plans within the coming weeks.
“It’s something where it goes well beyond just the loss of those jobs,” Schepisi said. “You’re talking about the impact it would have on the small businesses in the area — restaurants, dry cleaners, cleaning crews.”