The MTV reality series “Jersey Shore” has been approved for a $420,000 tax credit from the state of New Jersey, even though the film tax credit program has been suspended due to state budget cuts.

The series managed to submit its request just in time to qualify, although some Garden State residents are reportedly upset because they feel the show portrays the state in a negative light. The tax credit was approved by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Under the program, film production companies can receive a 20 percent tax credit for qualified production costs on their New Jersey Corporate Business or Gross Income Taxes.

“To be eligible, 60 percent of the total production expenses, excluding post-production (marketing and advertising), must be spent in New Jersey,” said EDA spokesperson Laura Jones. “Principal photography must begin within 150 days of approval. Note: a company that has applied and then commenced production, but has not yet been approved, is also eligible (i.e. Jersey Shore).”

She added that when a production company is finished with production, they submit a CPA report to the EDA showing that the CPA (who must be independent of the production company) went through all the expenses to determine they are eligible as a production. The EDA bases the tax credit approval on this report. Expenses must all meet the definition of “production” under the statute. The state’s taxation department then reviews the expenses after it is submitted to the EDA.

She added that approvals from the EDA are based on production expenses, not on content.

Because of legislation passed in 2010, New Jersey’s Film Tax Credit Program was "suspended" during state fiscal year 2011 and no tax credits were supposed to be provided during that time period.

Nevertheless, for fiscal year 2012, “Jersey Shore” and several other productions were approved for tax credits, including the TV series “Law and Order: SVU,” a film called “Choke,” starring Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston and Kelly MacDonald, another film called “Chlorine” starring Kyra Sedgwick, and two live wrestling events entitled, “Hell in a Cell @ Newark” and “Hell in a Cell @ East Rutherford,” which were taped for TV and DVD distribution. All the productions that were approved have already been filmed. The project summary for “Jersey Shore,” which stars a group of eight roommates including Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Mike “the Situation” Sorrentino, noted that principal photography began in August 2009 and concluded in September. However, the popular series has been renewed several times by MTV and is currently in its fourth season

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