Voters get peek at Democrat Murphy’s taxes before election

November 3, 2017

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey voters on Friday got just a peek at Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy’s 2016 tax returns, and only through reporters’ eyes, even as he said it was “un-American” for President Donald Trump not to release his taxes.

Murphy’s campaign let reporters review hundreds of pages of filings in a Newark hotel conference room on Friday, four days before Tuesday’s election, but they weren’t allowed to make copies.

His Republican rival, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, has relentlessly attacked Murphy over his taxes and called for him to post them online, as she has going back to 2010.

The documents show Murphy earned $4.6 million in income, most of it coming from interest and dividends. He paid $1.5 million in state and local taxes and $203,502 in state property taxes for his home in Middletown. New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the country.

He also paid $13,195 in taxes on property he owns in Italy and $3,909 for real estate in Germany, where he served as ambassador from 2009 to 2013.

Murphy, a wealthy former Goldman Sachs executive and Obama administration ambassador to Germany, used a similar method to unveil his 2015 taxes before this year’s primary.

In an editorial board meeting recently with the Asbury Park Press, Murphy pushed back against comparisons to Trump, who broke with decades of presidential candidate tradition by failing to release his tax returns last year.

Asked whether some people should worry about what’s in his taxes, Murphy denied there was a comparison between him and Trump.

“I mean, Trump has done nothing,” he said. “That’s un-American.”

Murphy also said he supports a Democratic bill inspired by Trump to require presidential candidates to release their taxes to get on the ballot in New Jersey. Christie vetoed the bill, but lawmakers say they plan to reintroduce it.

Murphy’s campaign addressed whether the candidate held a double standard for himself, compared with Trump.

“Phil Murphy is proud to make transparency a key component of his campaign, which is why he released his tax returns, a seven-year tax summary, and gave reporters access to the full backup documentation without exception,” campaign spokesman Dan Bryan said.

Murphy leads Guadagno in polls and campaign cash in Tuesday’s race to succeed the term-limited GOP Gov. Chris Christie.

Guadagno reported income of $306,000 in 2016 in returns she released in July.

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