NJ Cut Trump Casinos’ $30M Tax Liability to Just $5M After His Friend Christie Took Office
New questions are being raised about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's taxes — specifically, how his New Jersey casinos managed to score a deal that cut their $30 million unpaid tax liability to payments that amounted to less than 17 cents on a dollar.
The settlement with the state of New Jersey — reached a year after Gov. Chris Christie took office — was reported for the first time Wednesday by the New York Times. The report noted that the state had fought with the casinos over the unpaid taxes for six years, during which time Trump served as chairman and CEO of the organization.
Christie, who endorsed Trump for president after he aborted his own presidential campaign, often touts his friendship with Trump, which dates back to when Christie was U.S. attorney for New Jersey in 2002. Christie said his friendship with Trump was a leading reason why he endorsed him.
The Times report says “the steep discount granted to the Trump casinos and the relationship between the two men raise inevitable questions about special treatment.”
It was not clear, however, how the deal was reach or the extent of Christie's involvement, if any.
The report notes that the state of New Jersey had accused Trump's company of filing false reports. For example, reporting to the state casino commission that it had paid $2.2 million in alternative minimum assessment tax in 2003 when in fact the company had paid just $500 — that's five hundred.
Trump has taken heat — including from conservative and Republic leaders — for not releasing his federal income tax information, something all major party candidates have done since the early 1970s. His Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, released her 2015 returns last week.