From the Record:
If you invested with convicted Ponzi scammer Bernie Madoff and you live in New Jersey, you may have gotten robbed twice.
First, Madoff fleeced you.
Then, Trenton likely took a cut.
And Trenton isn’t in the mood to give back the cash.
One of the little-known stories to emerge from the Madoff scandal is the fact that New Jersey’s cut-the-budget government has so far refused to refund state income taxes paid by Madoff victims on investment income that turned out to be an illusion. Think of it as overpaying your taxes – but with this twist: You overpaid on income you never actually had.
State Sen. Richard Codey, the former Democratic president of the Senate who introduced a bill last year to repay taxes to Madoff investors, says the total figure could be as low as $10 million. But Codey, whose bill was never taken up by the Legislature, is quick to add that the amount could be as high as $25 million.
Other estimates range from $48 million to $120 million.
Ross, who says that he overpaid his New Jersey taxes by about $70,000, estimates that New Jersey probably owes about $30 million to Madoff investors across the state. But Ross is not sure and says the state should simply take the list of investors – easily obtainable from federal investigators – and run a basic computer check of state taxation records.
But the state has so far declined – a decision that Ross harshly criticizes.
“It is so immoral that the state of New Jersey should benefit from this,” said Ross, who achieved national fame as Fort Lee’s mayor in the 1970s for going undercover for the FBI and exposing a bribery scheme.