(NEWARK) – Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Chairman Albert Coutinho (D-Essex) released the following statement Thursday on a Christie administration report that recommends eliminating New Jersey’s film tax credit, ignoring its own study that deemed it “a cost effective way for New Jersey to create and maintain jobs in the film industry:”
“I can’t begin to understand why this administration refuses to embrace proven tax credit programs to grow our economy.
“The NJIT report on the film and digital media tax credit found it to be ‘a cost effective way for New Jersey to create and maintain jobs’ that breaks even, yet the administration still recommends eliminating it. Why even do the report if the administration was going to ignore it?
“This is nothing short of bizarre and more evidence of the administration’s lack of focus on jobs and the economy.
“The administration notes many high-paying film jobs remain out-of-state, but there it goes again with its preference for the wealthy.
“The NJIT report notes the film industry supports 1,682 jobs in New Jersey averaging $47,734. Apparently, those jobs are too working class for the governor to worry about. This administration fails to realize that it will never bring the high-end salaries in this industry if it doesn’t support a program like this one.
“The NJIT report, which the administration has withheld since October, is further validation of my plan (A-2905) to expand this tax credit to generate even more economic activity for New Jersey.
“Sadly, this administration would prefer to ignore facts and – as Brian O’Leary, senior vice president of NBC Universal, has said – put a ‘closed for business’ sign on our state.”