NJ taxpayers foot $420k ‘Jersey Shore’ bill

Here a situation that has residents in New Jersey pretty riled up: taxpayers in the Garden State will be footing $420,000 in production costs for the MTV show Jersey Shore.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority approved today a state film tax credit that had previously been suspended by Governor Chris Christie in 2010. Last year Christie cut the program in order to narrow in on the state’s budget deficit, but the NJ Economic Development Authority is now awarding credits to qualifying programs. As a result, taxpayers will cover the $420,000 in production costs from the MTV hit’s inaugural 2009 season.

“I can’t believe we are paying for fake tanning for ‘Snooki’ and ‘The Situation’, and I am not even sure $420,000 covers that,” Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) responded to the approval. “This is a great investment for the taxpayers, as if they can make a show called ‘Jersey Shore’ anywhere else.”

Gov. Christie had earlier attacked the show and its cast, including, yes, such American icons as Snooki and The Situation. Christie even asked New York Governor Andrew Cuomo if he could send the detestable duo back to the Empire State where they came from.

Now following the tax credit approval, Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said that the governor’s stance on Jersey Shore remains unchanged. “They are phonies and the show is a false portrayal of New Jersey and our shore communities,” he says in a statement. “He has also been clear about his belief that film tax credit programs are not the most effective way to spur economic growth throughout the state.”

NJ.com, however, reports Seaside Heights Mayor P. Kenneth Hershey is in favor of the show and insists that it boosts economy throughout the area.

Earlier this month the Asbury Park Press revealed that it takes a crew of over 100 people to work on the show, whom are housed in hotels for up to two months’ time, accumulating in all for upwards of 6,000 nights of accommodations.

Maria Maruca, executive director of the Seaside Heights Business Improvement District, added to MTV last year that the program has done wonders for the town’s tourism. “The exposure that the show brought to Seaside Heights — when every late-night host is talking about Snooki, when Leonardo DiCaprio is talking about the show — we could never have afforded that type of media. This is more than we could ever have asked for,” she said.

MTV confirmed earlier this year that a fifth season of the show was slated to be filmed this past summer in Seaside Heights once again. “The Situation and the rest will spend most of the summer working, partying and recording one of the most popular shows on cable TV,” wrote a NBC affiliate from New York.

Filming was scheduled to wrap up in late August, which will give Christie another few months to find a way to rid New Jersey of Snooki and pals. Now if he can only figure out how to eliminate Bon Jovi…

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