‘Joker’ and ‘West Side Story’ Land Tax Breaks to Shoot in New Jersey
A still from the ‘Joker’ movie. (Source: Verified Twitter Handle of Joker). 

‘Joker’ and ‘West Side Story’ Land Tax Breaks to Shoot in New Jersey

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(Bloomberg) -- New Jersey, whose $11 billion tax-break program is under investigation by the state attorney general, approved incentives for major films by two of Hollywood’s biggest studios.

The films -- “Joker,” part of Warner Brothers Pictures Inc.’s “Batman” franchise, and a Steven Spielberg-directed “West Side Story” adaptation for Twentieth Century Fox Inc.-- could qualify for credits of as much as 35%, with other discounts for hiring women and minorities. Governor Phil Murphy has targeted film and digital media as high-growth industries that can provide good-paying jobs.

‘Joker’ and ‘West Side Story’ Land Tax Breaks to Shoot in New Jersey

New Jersey was the nascent film industry’s capital in the early 20th century, and after major production moved West, the state remained a low-priced alternative to New York City sets. In 2016, then-Governor Chris Christie didn’t renew an expired film tax-credit program, saying he was skeptical of the economic benefits.

Murphy, whose administration is examining sloppy oversight of a state tax-incentives program expanded by Christie, signed a bill reviving film credits in July.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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