Lessons for Pennsylvania from Jersey Shore

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently nixed a tax credit for production of MTV’s Jersey Shore. This is a TV show that apparently doesn’t portray New Jersey in the best light. New Jersey has stopped taking new applications for its film tax credit, and as Stateline notes today, is among several states to eliminate or defund their film incentive programs. Gov. Christie is opposing legislation that would expand New Jersey’s program.

Gov. Christie is right — not because Jersey Shore is a terrible show (I have never seen the show, so cannot comment on its quality) — but because film tax credits are ineffective. The credits go to productions that would have occurred regardless of the credit (Jersey Shore being a case in point), and more importantly, don’t improve the overall business climates of states. Lower taxes and fewer regulations for all businesses would attract not only more filmmakers, but entrepreneurs from all industries.

On film tax credits, Pennsylvania should follow the script of our neighbors to the east.