Three years ago, New Jersey gave Honeywell a $40 million tax break to keep its headquarters in the Garden State.
It wasn’t enough.
The Fortune 100 company on Friday announced it’s moving its global headquarters from Morris Plains to Charlotte, N.C.
A package of incentives offered by North Carolina, proximity to Honeywell’s Southeast businesses, and a pool of talent were cited as reasons for the shift, which will send 150- to 200 senior management positions from New Jersey. Around 800 of the 1,000 employees in Morris Plains will remain there, according to the company.
“Our decision does not reflect any issues with the quality of our experience in New Jersey,” Darius Adamczyk, Honeywell chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
“We value the strong relationship that we have built with the state of New Jersey and with Governor Murphy. New Jersey will remain a substantial employment center for us.”
In a statement, Murphy looked for a silver lining.
“As part of Honeywell’s global restructuring, the company has committed to keeping the vast majority of its existing New Jersey workforce in state. Though we’re never happy when any jobs leave our state, we appreciate their continued commitment and confidence in New Jersey,” the Governor said.
“By maintaining such a strong foothold here, Honeywell is reaffirming their commitment to being a part of New Jersey’s future. That speaks volumes to our state’s strength, resilience, and value proposition.”
Murphy, a Democrat, insisted his economic plan “will put us ahead of the curve” going forward.
Republicans saw it differently.
“North Carolina continues to become more business friendly and its economy has boomed while our state languishes behind even with the national economy booming,” Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-26th Dist.) said in a statement.
“Instead of raising tax rates on businesses we should be lowering them. No matter how many tax credits are granted it will never be enough to truly compete, create jobs and retain them,” DeCroce said.
The legislator said North Carolina’s corporate tax rate of 3 percent is among the nation’s lowest, while New Jersey in June passed the second-highest corporate rate.
Morris Plains Mayor Frank Druetzler, who was instrumental in luring Honeywell’s headquarters from Morris Township, said corporate taxes in New Jersey are “out of control.
“It has to be turned around somehow. We can’t do business as usual anymore.”
While he’s sorry some senior managers will be heading south over the next year, “at least I’m happy 800 jobs are staying in Morris Plains,” said Druetzler, a Republican who is stepping down after 32 years as mayor.
Honeywell also plans to relocate headquarters of its Safety and Productivity Solutions (SPS) business group from Fort Mill, S.C., to Charlotte.
The corporation’s portfolio includes aerospace products and services and control technologies for buildings and industry.