Christie Ad Attacks Corzine For Not Paying Income Taxes (He Had No Income)

In a new TV ad from Republican New Jersey gubernatorial nominee Chris Christie, Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine is attacked for not paying state taxes — though the truth of the matter appears to be much less nefarious than the ad implies.

“Last year, millionaire Corzine paid nothing, zero in state income taxes,” the announcer says. “That’s outrageous.”

As the Asbury Park Press points out in its fact-check of the ad, Corzine reported a $3.13 million loss last year on his federal income tax returns. In addition, he in fact owed the state $1,520, which was paid for through a tax credit carried over from the previous year.

On a Christie campaign conference call just now, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos defended the ad against a reporter’s question. “You’ve gotta be a pretty sophisticated accountant to understand the explanation you just put out,” he told the reporter. Kyrillos explained what the ad really meant. “What this says is this is someone who doesn’t live like us, doesn’t exist like us, who have to get up in the morning and go to work and pay income taxes, pay property taxes, pay income taxes,” said Kyrillos. Corzine, Kyrillos said, is able to live extravagantly, “even affluent among New Jerseyans, without income coming in, and that’s why he paid no income taxes.”

Late Update: Last night, the Corzine campaign put out this response to the ad — saying that it’s Christie who is dishonest on his taxes, in light of his failure to report income on a personal loan he’d made to a subordinate in the U.S. Attorney’s office, Michele Brown: “The Christie campaign released an ad today that contains an outright lie. Their claim that Jon Corzine did not pay state income taxes is completely and totally inaccurate. Jon Corzine makes one dollar per year as Governor, and paid every penny of the taxes he owed last year, as he does every year. Jon Corzine overpaid on his taxes in 2007 and the credit from that year was applied to his 2008 state income taxes. This desperate attempt to mislead the public by a campaign in complete freefall is inexcusable. Christie must have used the same accountant that did his taxes for this analysis. There is only one candidate in this race that failed to report income on his income tax returns, and that is Chris Christie.”