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State Sen. Joe Pennacchio. (Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe).

Pennacchio attacks NJ’s film tax credit

By Nikita Biryukov, January 07 2020 12:48 pm

State Sen. Joe Pennacchio decried the state’s film tax credit program Tuesday.

“This is a huge corporate give-away that only helps the Hollywood elites who share nothing in common with working class taxpayers,” Pennacchio said. “Hollywood is lining up for free money without providing any long term benefits for our residents who struggle to make ends meet under the highest taxes in the nation.”

New Jersey offers tax credits to the film industry in exchange for their performing shoots in the Garden State.

While some of the state’s other tax programs have been the subject of considerable political jockeying between Gov. Phil Murphy and Senate President Steve Sweeney, the film tax credits have seen little such intra-party conflict.

Pennacchio called for the state to audit the program in 2018. The State Auditor’s office intends to conduct such an audit this year.

“We cannot evaluate the impact without more data, but there is no sign that any permanent jobs are being created or that there is any continuing benefit for local communities or the state,” Pennacchio said. “There are so many red flag warnings with this program. Now others are noticing the same problems. To be fair to New Jersey taxpayers, it should be put on ice before we throw more good money away.”

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