Ongoing Questions About Value of Tax Credit Program are Underscored by Award to TV Series of Dubious Value to State
Trenton, NJ – Governor Chris Christie today vetoed the Economic Development Authority’s (EDA) award of $420,000 in film tax credits to the Jersey Shore television program, citing New Jersey’s difficult fiscal climate and the need to direct limited state resources to programs and projects that actually benefit the state.
In his veto letter to the EDA, which he signed today, Governor Christie noted his long held, serious concerns about the limited value and return on the cost of the New Jersey Film Tax Credit Transfer Program, which was the basis for his veto of legislation earlier this year to “grossly expand” the program.
“We must ensure that our limited taxpayer dollars are spent on programs and projects that best benefit the State of New Jersey,” Governor Christie said. “I have no interest in policing the content of such projects; 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.”
The Governor also noted the contradictions coming from legislative supporters of the program who complained about EDA’s award of the tax credit to Jersey Shore just days before their most recent legislative action to expand funding.
“Legislators who championed the Program’s original legislation, and who later sponsored legislation to expand it, must surely have appreciated the consequences of their actions. The tax credit to Jersey Shore illustrates the potential for wasteful spending inherent in the implementation of the Program,” the Governor wrote in the veto letter.
“For such legislators to now complain of its implementation with respect to Jersey Shore is, at best, mystifying.”
Governor Christie concluded by noting that while it appeared “that the EDA felt compelled” to include Jersey Shore in the Program, “I am not so constrained” and vetoed the $420,000 tax credit award.