Political Insiders Get Major Tax Breaks From Chris Christie
Business subsidies in New Jersey have exploded under Gov. Chris Christie, and accusations are now surfacing that Christie deliberately used them to shore up his political support.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that, “New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority has handed out more than $2 billion in tax breaks since 2014, more than the total amount issued during the decade before Christie took office.”
“The aid has gone disproportionately to businesses in Camden,” the article claims, noting that the notoriously impoverished city, which has just 77,000 residents, received tax credits worth $630 million last year—”nearly four times Camden’s annual budget.”
“The prospect of a renaissance for heavily Democratic Camden would offer a useful counterpoint to New Jersey’s lackluster economic performance” should Christie decide to contend for the Republican presidential nomination, “but a closer look at the grants … indicates they may do less for the city than advertised and more for Christie’s political alliances.” (RELATED: ANTLE: Should Chris Christie Just Drop Out Already?)
Many of the subsidies were awarded to corporations with political connections. In some instances, the deals were so generous that companies were even left with tax credits in excess of their tax bills, which state law allows them to sell to other companies.
“In at least one case, the value of the tax credits outstripped the value of the business that received them,” translating into a huge infusion of cash for the company at taxpayers’ expense.
The strategy, if indeed it is one, appears to have generated returns for Christie. (RELATED: Chris Christie Captures the Latino Vote)
The lead investor in the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team, which will receive $82 million for bringing 250 jobs across the Delaware River, “donated $50,000 to the Republican Governors Association during the time Christie ran it,” the article notes. Similarly, “a political committee supported by employees of Lockheed Martin, another recipient of a Camden grant, pumped more than $100,000 into the governors’ group during Christie’s tenure.”
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