NJ Lawmakers Outraged Over Jersey Shore‘s $420K ‘Fake Tanning’ Tax Break

A number of New Jersey lawmakers are outraged that the state has awarded a $420,000 production tax credit to the hit MTV reality show “Jersey Shore” because, as one GOPer put it, “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.”On Wednesday, NJ.com reported that taxpayers would be paying the credit for the show’s first season in 2009, as approved by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

“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,” said State Rep. Declan O’Scanlon (R). “This is a great investment for the taxpayers, as if they can make a show called ‘Jersey Shore’ anywhere else.”

State Sen. Joe Vitale (D) called on Christie to veto the credit. “It is disparaging to Italian Americans. He should veto it,” he said.

Christie himself has criticized “Jersey Shore” for misrepresenting the state (most of the cast members are from Staten Island or other parts of New York). “The Governor’s opinions about Jersey Shore and its New Yorker cast are well-known,” his office said in a statement Wednesday. “They are phonies and the show is a false portrayal of New Jersey and our shore communities.”

But, Christie’s office said, “the Governor cannot veto EDA action that is in compliance with non-discretionary, existing law….The bottom line is that the governor has not been in favor of this tax credit, and this and other applications were in the pipeline from the prior administration.”

The summary of the show in the EDA application makes it sound almost clean-cut: “The film is about eight roommates. There is no screenplay. The roommates live in a house and are asked to work in a local establishment on the New Jersey Coast. The cameras capture the interaction among the roommates and how the roommates interact at work and at play in Seaside Heights.”

Get the day’s best political analysis, news and reporting from the TPM team delivered to your inbox every day with DayBreaker. Sign up here, it takes just a few seconds.