Earlier this month Governor Murphy signed Senate Bill No. 122, the “Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act,” also known as the “Snooki Amendment.”
So, the question becomes, by signing the “Snooki Amendment” is Governor Murphy helping Snooki pee away $425 million over five years?
State Senator Joe Pennacchio thinks so. On Monday, he announced “that he has sent a letter requesting that the State Auditor conduct a full evaluation of the Garden State Film Tax Credit, to determine if it is in fact a worthwhile investment of New Jersey’s scarce financial resources.”
In his letter to the State Auditor, Pennacchio writes, “$425 million. For that amount of money, New Jersey could hire more than six thousand additional special education teachers to help our must vulnerable students, and still pay them the going rate.”
Pennacchio continues, “This ‘tax incentive program’ is purely a giveaway to special interest groups who have no interest in the long-term financial wellbeing of our state. Why even call it an incentive? As designed, the program does not give these companies any reason to invest more money into our economy than they have previously spent. It is, in my view, an unconscionable waste of state resources.”
It's obvious Senator Pennacchio knows better than to join the governor in helping Snooki pee away our tax dollars. One has to wonder why other elected officials aren’t as vocal in trying to stop the waste of our money.
Considering a 2012 report from the Tax Foundation found that “aside from studies paid for by economic development authorities and the Motion Picture Association of America [MPAA], an industry trade association, almost every other study has found film tax credits generate less than 30 cents for every $1 of spending,” Senator Pennacchio is right to question the wisdom of the “Snooki Amendment.”
We should all be thanking Senator Pennacchio for standing up for the taxpayers.