The state of New Jersey would like to keep the stars of MTV’s monster hit reality series smushing and boozing in Seaside Heights, and they’re willing to make state residents cough up the cash to make it happen.
The Associated Press reports that New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority approved using $420,000 of taxpayer money to cover the production costs for the Jersey Shore’s first season in 2009.
It’s no secret that Governor Chris Christie isn’t the show’s biggest fan, calling the cast members out earlier this year for not being real New Jerseyans. “Take them back. We don’t want them,” he told New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement.
It seems the EDA wants them enough; the approval marks the first film tax since the governor suspended the program in 2010 to close a budget deficit.
Seaside Heights Mayor P. Kenneth Hershey seems to have no qualms with the decision, saying that the local businesses benefit from having the show in town for filming. “The boost to the economy certainly shows, when they are here this place is busy. A lot of the business folks here appreciate that,” he said.
Other politicians were less excited: “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 Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon. He goes on to make a valid (and what should be pretty obvious) point: “This is a great investment for the taxpayers, as if they can make a show called ‘Jersey Shore’ anywhere else.”