Credit: Aaron/Brian/Macca/Splash News Photo: The Cast Toasts to Florence on May 17, 2011

Earlier this year, there was a brief spat of political drama when Jersey Shore was granted a $420,000 tax credit by the state of New Jersey. Jersey Governor Chris Christie eventually vetoed the credit, but the whole incident raised a lot of questions about how good Jersey Shore is for the community it claims to represent.

Proponents of the tax credit insisted Jersey Shore is actually good for the local economy. A new article from Toms River magazine takes the question to the streets, asking locals how Jersey Shore has impacted their lives. The results are surprisingly positive.

"It’s been phenomenal!" gushed Tony Rivoli, owner of the cast's favorite restaurant, Rivoli's. "We now get people coming here from all over the country and all over the world."

Well, sure. If the cast is actively plugging your restaurant every other episode, that's going to be good. What about the rest of the Shore? "For the 5 years prior to Jersey Shore coming, business here was down," Tony explained. "Now, there’s been a steady increase since the show started.”

He's not the only one who thinks so. Seaside Heights Police Chief Thomas Boyd, far from being bothered by the Macaroni Rascals' bouts of drunken destruction, claimed "nothing but good has come out of that show for Seaside Heights." He agrees with Tony that the show boosts tourism, and, surprisingly, it's not all drunken guido wannbes. "The crowds who come to see them and line up along the sidewalk each night are full of families with kids."

And here's a fun fact: MTV actually helps out the local cops, by paying for the necessary security details for the cast. In fact, Chief Boyd expects to be able to hire more people to the local force if Jersey Shore returns in summer 2012 — a great thing in this economy.

“When you look at the economy out there and our town’s business has increased 20%, it’s a great thing for Seaside," Chief Boyd concluded.

Take that, Jersey Shore haters.

For more opinions on Jersey Shore's impact, read the full article here.

Jersey Shore airs Thursdays at 10 pm ET/PT on MTV.

Source: Tom River

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