Lately, a lot of attention has been given to the exodus of businesses out of New York and into New Jersey. To the casual onlooker, it seems so counter intuitive that the preferred place of doing business is now outside of the Big Apple. But when looking at real estate prices, energy costs and corporate tax rates, the decision to move to New Jersey just becomes common sense. Even BNY Mellon has seen the light and is now deciding which area in New Jersey to plant its roots. (Consider how significant this fact is by realizing that BNY stands for Bank of New York.) To facilitate the bank’s transition, New Jersey governor Chris Christie has offered over $100,000,000 worth of tax breaks. You can believe that there are other companies on the governor’s welcoming list who will be receiving similar offers.
So the big question now is where should these companies settle? After having done my research on northeast business development, I believe that the clear cut answer is the tax haven of Mahwah. Not only is the property and municipal tax extremely low, it serves as a strategic hub for doing business up and down the northeast corridor. The business friendly climate of Mahwah was so compelling that I reached out to the city’s mayor, Bill LaForet, and he graciously consented to the interview which is posted above this article. During the course of our interview we spoke about Mahwah’s low business costs and one fact stood out that the vast majority of other municipalities can’t attest to. That is the good financial stewardship which allows them to receive AAA bond ratings from Standard & Poors as well as Moody’s. Stellar bond ratings provide Mahwah with low interest rates on their small debt burden, which in turn allows the township to pass the benefit to its residents and local businesses in the form of low tax rates.
The emphasis on good stewardship seems to have flowed into other areas as well, the two most important being the school system and overall safety. It’s refreshing to know that Mahwah’s students perform in the top tier of state academic rankings. And surprisingly, the township has been listed in Safewise statistics as the safest place to live in New Jersey. So when CEOs decide to bring their workers to the Mahwah, the decision is really socio-economic rather than just economic. Transplants to Mahwah and their families can benefit from the overall standard of living. Plus, living within a 25 mile radius of New York can be convenient should there be any need for travel between the two states.