On Tuesday, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee advanced an overhaul of New Jersey’s film and television corporate subsidy program (S3748), increasing the annual maximum tax credits by at least $200 million and watering down the existing program’s accountability provisions. The bill was voted out of committee despite the lack of fiscal note or any indication of the overall cost of the program. In response to the bill advancing through committee and the bill text finally available to the public, New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) releases the following statement.
Peter Chen, Senior Policy Analyst, NJPP:
“Handing union-busting Hollywood studios hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies is a bad investment for New Jersey. Study after study shows that the cost of film tax credits overwhelmingly exceeds the benefits, as the jobs created are temporary and often go to specialists from out-of-state. At a time when New Jersey is facing upcoming budget shortfalls, cutting a check to movie and television companies will enrich high paid executives and corporate shareholders at everyone else’s expense. And by watering down accountability measures, lawmakers risk turning a bad investment into an even worse one if the proposed jobs and spending never materialize.
“New Jersey’s budget should prioritize public investments that we all rely on and benefit from, rather than lining the pockets of big businesses.”