At Warren County town hall, Christie revels in tax return transparency

WASHINGTON TWP. – Against the backdrop of a GOP presidential candidate criticized for failing to release his back tax return filings, Gov. Chris Christie this morning bragged heartily about his transparent willingness to share his own returns.

Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie were taxed $141,158 last year, according to year ending 2011 tax returns released by the governor’s office last week. The pair earned $567,772 in gross income in 2011, according to the tax returns.

“We confirmed for the 26th year in a row that she made more money than me,” Christie told a friendly crowd here at Warren County Community College at his 98th town hall event.

For months, the Barack Obama presidential campaign has savaged Mitt Romney for not disclosing at least 10 years of back taxes. During the GOP Primary, CNN’s John King asked Romney if – like his father, George Romney, who ran for president in 1968 – Romney would release 12 years’ worth of his tax returns.

Romney ended up releasing two years’ worth – 2010 and 2011.

“When my tax returns first came out, people asked me if I feel emasculated (because his wife makes more),” said Christie, a staunch Romney backer.”Joint checking account. Joint checking account, baby. Equal signatory power.”

"I’m an undertaker by trade, so when I bury somebody, they don’t come back."
—Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato