Magazine article Variety

Goodbye, Christie. Hello, Production Credit?

Magazine article Variety

Goodbye, Christie. Hello, Production Credit?

Article excerpt

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's pending exit in January after seven years in office could spark the rebirth of the state's film and television production tax incentive.

In 2005, the Garden State created a 20% tax credit program to boost film production throughout New Jersey. But in 2010, Christie suspended the incentive due to his dislike of the MTV reality show "Jersey Shore."

While the New Jersey Economic Development Authority approved a $420,000 tax break for filming "Jersey Shore" in the state in 2009 - the series' inaugural season - Christie reneged on the credit in 2011, arguing that the show about Snooki and the gang tarnished the state's reputation.

"I have no interest in policing the content of such projects," Christie said in a 2011 statement. "However, as chief executive, I am duty bound to ensure that taxpayers are not footing a $420,000 bill for a project which does nothing more than perpetuate misconceptions about the state and its citizens."

Police he did. That same year, Christie permitted payment on tax credits for other New Jersey-based productions including WWE's "Hell in a Cell" Newark event and the Kyra Sedgwick film "Chlorine." During its active years, New Jersey awarded NBC's "Law & Order: SVU" more than $10.2 million in tax credits for the 2009-10 season.

While "Jersey Shore" didn't necessarily place the state in the best light, Tax Credits Intl.'s Christine Peluso said in 2014 that the series provided an undeniable economic boost: Parking meter fee collection in the show's Seaside Heights setting jumped from $807,000 in 2007 to $1.3 million in 2010. In addition, Peluso noted the reality show's crew and fans helped the local economy with the purchase of hotel rooms, car rentals, catering, hardware, dry cleaning, rental fees and permit fees, among other expenses.

In 2016, a bill titled the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act attempted to reauthorize and revise the state's expired film tax credit programs. …

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