Business Ethics

Chris Christie Sold Out New Jersey Taxpayers for Donald Trump

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

There was a time when Donald Trump's casinos owed the state of New Jersey over $30 million in taxes, but that was before Chris Christie took office as the governor.

According to the New York Times, the Christie administration allowed Trump's casinos to settle for a tiny fraction of the total amount he owed the state even though his casinos had been credibly accused in court of lying to state regulators.

The state had doggedly pursued the matter through two of the casinos’ bankruptcy cases and even accused the company led by Mr. Trump of filing false reports with state casino regulators about the amount of taxes it had paid.

But the year after Governor Christie, a Republican, took office, the tone of the litigation shifted. The state entertained settlement offers. And in December 2011, after six years in court, the state agreed to accept just $5 million, roughly 17 cents on the dollar of what auditors said the casinos owed. [...]

The Times discovered the agreement during a review of the thousands of documents filed in the bankruptcies of Mr. Trump’s casinos. The taxes went unpaid from 2002 through 2006, during which time Mr. Trump was leading the company as chairman and, until 2005, as its chief executive. He reaped millions of dollars in fees and bonuses from the company, even as it underperformed competitors, lost money every year and saw its stock collapse.

Christie's office claims the governor knows nothing about this, but if you believe that I'd say you're just as gullible as the governor was when he believed Trump would select him to be his vice presidential running mate.

There is precedent for this in the Christie administration.

You may recall this story from last year. The state of New Jersey hit the Exxon-Mobil oil company with charges totaling $8.9 billion in 2006 for destroying the state's waterways and wetlands. The state fought Exxon in court for nearly a decade, but right before a judge was about to rule in favor of the state, the Christie administration stepped in and settled with Exxon-Mobil for just $255 million or roughly 3 percent of what the company owed the state.

This is a man who built a career out of yelling at school teachers and public employees for costing too much money, and yet he won't even think twice about short-changing state taxpayers for wealthy business interests and his own personal ambition.

Trump's Taj Mahal casino was recently shut down following an employee strike. You can thank men like Donald Trump and Chris Christie for destroying Atlantic City.

  • katanahamon

    And yet we hear about Hillary’s emails? Why aren’t these issues front page news? Trump is running for President…yet the bar seems much lower for him. The media continues to disgrace itself every day by reporting Trump’s current statements, his reactions to others etc., yet not ever following up on things like his taxes, his bankruptcies, his cheating..this is the worst, most disreputable man to ever run, and be nominated as a candidate in our history, yet every day that goes by..the media continues to normalize him and use his name for click bait.

    Thank you, Mr. Ashby..I hope you continue your efforts.

  • Draxiar

    Nothing quite like seeing fiscal responsibility in action.

  • Victor the Crab

    The taxpayers of New Jersey need to flay Chris Christie alive until they’re right down to the bones, which I’d imagine could take awhile.

  • muselet

    Chris Christie’s administration accepted 17¢ on the dollar from Donald Trump and 2.9¢ on the dollar from Exxon-Mobil, while Christie complained endlessly about having to pay public employees more than slave wages. Meanwhile, Trump flew his casino company into the ground while filling his pockets with as much money as he could get his tiny hands on.

    Is this what Republicans mean by running government like a business? Because if it is, I for one want no part of it.


    • Aynwrong

      I’ve never bought the notion of a CEO president. Especially after the Cheney Bush Administration. But during the 2012 campaign I never really questioned Romney’s basic competence. I always believed he knew what he was doing. I never believed his business experience was what this country needed but I believed it was legitimate. Christie and Trump come off like that monologue that Bob & Chez used to play from Good fellas. They look at our economy and they want to “bust the joint out.”