Governor vetoes tax break for "Jersey Shore"

NEW YORK Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:09am EDT

''Jersey Shore'' cast members (L-R) Michael ''The Situation'' Sorrentino, Jenni ''JWoww'' Farley, Nicole ''Snooki'' Polizzi and an unidentified member pose at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, California, September 12, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

''Jersey Shore'' cast members (L-R) Michael ''The Situation'' Sorrentino, Jenni ''JWoww'' Farley, Nicole ''Snooki'' Polizzi and an unidentified member pose at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, California, September 12, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey vetoed on Monday a $420,000 film tax credit dubbed the "Snooki Subsidy" for the reality show "The Jersey Shore," citing the state's budget crunch.

Christie, a longtime critic of the raucous MTV show that offers a less than flattering portrayal of life in the Garden State, said in a statement the money would be better spent on "projects that actually benefit the state."

In a letter to the Economic Development Authority, which awarded the hit show $420,000 in film tax credits, Christie said it was not just a matter of money. It was personal, too.

"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," Christie said in the letter.

Since the show first aired in 2009, the outrageous antics of the tanning-bed loving, party-going cast have made "Snooki" and "The Situation" household names in America.

At the same time, some Italian-Americans insulted by negative stereotypes perpetuated by the cast have called for an end to the show.

The response from MTV, which has aired the seaside smackdowns and barroom brawls of both male and female cast members of "Jersey Shore," was sober and brief.

"The governor's decision will not impact the show," MTV spokesman Nathaniel Brown said.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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Comments (14)
Rorer714 wrote:
$420 K? Really?

Sep 27, 2011 11:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse
tdrroc wrote:
Christie just avoided lining MTV execs’ pockets with $420,000. Good for him. Obviously they didn’t need the free money from New Jersey. I’m always a bit skeptical of tax break benefits that state and local governments offer to attract companies. TV and film production credits are one of the most ludicrous examples (transitory benefit, no permanent infrastructure results/improvements, and talent often imported from out of the area and then exported when production is complete).

Sep 27, 2011 11:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
MartyKayZee wrote:
As much as I despise this show, Mr. Christie has no right to cancel the tax credit based on speech. This is a clear First Amendment issue and will wind up being reversed costing the state huge legal fees.

Sep 27, 2011 11:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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