Speaking on behalf of the state’s leading advocate for economic freedom, state director Erica Jedynak said targeted tax breaks to the film industry have proven ineffective in stimulating economic growth and have resulted in a net loss of taxpayer monies in other states.
“Pennsylvania has found a return of investment of every dollar spent to be a mere 14 cents,” noted Jedynak. “And a 2009 report by the Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee looking at their state’s $75 million film tax credit and grant program estimated that the state loses $58.2 million on the program.”
With the state in fiscal crisis and some lawmakers pushing for a big gas tax hike as well as big tax hikes to address the state’s pension crisis, Jedynak also criticized the bill as a waste of taxpayer resources.
“When it comes to funding the priorities of the people of New Jersey, the legislature should first look to find ways to fund the core functions of government without raising taxes,” argued Jedynak. “Money spent on handouts to large corporations for a limited number of projects should not take funding priorities over reducing the overall tax burden for citizens of New Jersey or paying for the core functions of government.”
In conclusion Jedynak said, “It’s far past time New Jersey continued to pick winners and losers and instead let the economy expand organically by lowering overall tax rate.”
The full text of Erica Jedynak’s testimony is available here.