Governor’s Suspension Costing North Bergen 200 Jobs, State Coffers $55 Million
(TRENTON) — Assembly members Joan M. Quigley, Vincent Prieto and Connie Wagner Thursday again took Gov. Chris Christie to task for suspending the state’s $10 million film tax credit for one year, a move which forced the production unit for “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” to move from North Bergen, New Jersey to Chelsea Piers, New York, costing the state far more than was saved.
“In his short-sighted effort to get the budget to balance by any means necessary, Gov. Christie has once again wound up costing the state more money that would have been saved,” said Quigley (D-Hudson), a member of the Assembly Budget Committee who represents North Bergen. “The show’s production unit pumped $55 million annually into the state’s economy. We lost that revenue forever to save $10 million for one year.”
“The governor had no problem today announcing that he was looking for extra money to create jobs, yet just a month ago, the state was so strapped for cash that he had to put 200 people out of work,” said Prieto (D-Hudson), who represents North Bergen. “He can’t have it both ways. How can we have to cut film tax credits one month and then look to increase BRRAG grants the next?”
“This film tax credit was the one thing keeping New Jersey competitive with our neighbors in New York City and Philadelphia,” said Wagner (D-Bergen). “Without it, we will likely see the remainder of in-state productions seek greener pastures, while failing to attract new short- and long-term film and television projects, all of which will make it that much harder for us to climb back out of the recession and put people back to work.”
According to the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission, since 1999, Law & Order: SVU has filmed in all of the following New Jersey municipalities: North Bergen, Newark, Jersey City, Hackensack, Little Ferry, Ridgefield, Alpine, Closter, Northvale, Rockleigh, Montclair, Fort Lee, Bayonne, Elizabeth and Orange.