TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey residents will be picking up a $420,000 slice of the production tab for the original 2009 series of "Jersey Shore" -- a situation that some of the state's lawmakers are less than happy about, The Star-Ledger reported Thursday.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) approved a massive film tax credit Wednesday for the MTV reality show's inaugural season.
State officials said the decision was based on a set of strict guidelines that are blind to the show's content -- but the refund has angered those who are not fans of the smash-hit series, which follows the antics of Snooki, Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino and co.
Some state lawmakers are asking Gov. Chris Christie (R) to veto the tax credit, saying taxpayers should not bear the cost of a show that paints New Jersey and Italian-Americans in a questionable light.
"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 New Jersey State Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon (R-Monmouth).
Gov. Christie issued a statement through a spokesman Wednesday saying his distaste for the show is widely known.
"He has also been clear about his belief that film tax credit programs are not the most effective way to spur economic growth throughout the state," Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said.
But the mayor of Seaside Heights, where the show is filmed, said he believes the reality program has driven business to his town, the Star-Ledger reported.
"The boost to the economy certainly shows, when they are here this place is busy," said Mayor P. Kenneth Hershey. "A lot of the business folks here appreciate that."
The summary of the show in the EDA application makes the program -- known for fighting, drinking and sexual escapades -- seem innocuous.
"The film is about eight roommates. There is no screenplay. The roommates live in a house and are asked to work in a local establishment on the New Jersey Coast. The cameras capture the interaction," it says.