Lights! Cameras! But no tax credit action in N.J.

Some lawmakers are urging Gov. Chris Christie to restore a tax credit for companies that film movies or TV shows in New Jersey.

Christie eliminated the credit shortly after he took office and then vetoed an effort by Democrats to reinstate it at a higher level.

Tom Meyers, executive director of the Fort Lee Film Commission, said the movie industry began there, and the tax credit would help bring new business to communities around the state.

“I have a Main Street in Fort Lee not unlike any other main street in every town in New Jersey that has ‘for rent’ signs up and down,” Meyers said. “The business community would definitely feel an impact on renting their locations to film crews, restaurants, and towns feeding them.”

Christie has said the credit is not an effective economic stimulus to create permanent jobs.

State Sen. Loretta Weinberg said she hopes the governor can be convinced of the value of the tax credit.

“There’s no upfront money here. There’s no budget money that has to be put in and these are only approved on a case by case,” she said Wednesday. “So, to wipe this whole industry out of New Jersey seems to be a little shortsighted, and I hope the governor will take another look at this.”

Last month, the governor vetoed a $420,000 credit to the production company that produces MTV’s “Jersey Shore” reality show.

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