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South Jersey Business Leaders Say Thanks For Keeping NJ/Pa. Tax Deal In Place

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) --  South Jersey business leaders gathered at Campbell's Soup in Camden to thank legislative officials for helping to keep a reciprocal tax agreement in place with Pennsylvania. That agreement was about to be canceled by Gov. Chris Christie in a move to balance the New Jersey state budget.

Just how critical was it to keep the deal in place?

Major South Jersey employers were having second thoughts about staying or expanding in the state. Take Subaru, where human resources officer Dan Dalton says they were having doubts about their new corporate headquarters in Camden, which is under construction, along with plans for a new training facility.

"Our footprint in the city of Camden over time would become more uncertain," Dalton told KYW Newsradio.

Now both projects are moving forward.

And to hear Senate President Steve Sweeney tell it, there won't be any threat to the deal for a long time. He remembers the first time that almost four-decade accord was threatened by then-Gov. Jim McGreevey.

"We convinced him it was a bad idea. I think we've put it to bed this time because now you really see the impact of a bad decision," Sweeney said.

Elected officials received more than 10,000 letters and emails from companies large and small making that very point.

The agreement allows commuters who live in one state but work in the other to file income taxes only in their home state. Filing two tax returns would have cost many of them thousands of dollars a year in higher taxes on both sides of the Delaware River.

Christie changed his mind last week, after reaching a deal with legislative leaders to trim state prescription drug costs. That deal will save the state at least $200 million a year by having drug companies, in effect, bid for the state's business.

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