Today’s revelation that Donald Trump’s failed Atlantic City casinos dodged $25 million in taxes, thanks to a sweetheart deal from Trump friend and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, shows another important reason Trump should release his tax returns.
In response to today’s New York Times article on Trump’s tax deal with New Jersey, Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund Executive Director Frank Clemente made the following statement:
“Sweetheart deals like the failed Trump casinos’ $25-million tax bailout are yet another reason Americans deserve to see Donald Trump’s tax returns. How often has Trump used his political connections to dodge millions of dollars in taxes?
“While Trump tries to campaign as an outsider and an advocate for working people, the advantages he’s gotten from his politically-connected friends show he is no man of the people.
“What else is he hiding?”
Today’s New York Times article begins:
“By the time Chris Christie became governor of New Jersey, the state’s auditors and lawyers had been battling for several years to collect long-overdue taxes owed by the casinos founded by his friend Donald J. Trump.
“The total, with interest, had grown to almost $30 million. 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.
“Tax authorities sometimes settle for lesser amounts to avoid the costs and risks of further litigation, legal experts said, but the steep discount granted to the Trump casinos and the relationship between the two men raise inevitable questions about special treatment.”
Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund is a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which is organized under 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. It should not be confused with Americans for Tax Fairness, a project of the New Venture Fund, organized under 501(c)(3) of the IRC. The 425 endorsing organizations that comprise Americans for Tax Fairness operate separately from the activities of Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund.