One of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) top fundraisers, real estate developer Jon Hanson, has become the latest member of the governor's inner circle to come under fire for his business dealings.
A joint venture that included Hanson's Hampshire Companies, based in Morristown, N.J., was awarded a $105 million tax incentive last year by Christie's administration for an office building and hotel project in Paterson, The Guardian newspaper reported Monday.
The deal was made possible by a change to state law backed by the Christie administration, The Guardian reported. Paterson Mayor Jeffery Jones (D) told the newspaper it may have been a "special sweetheart deal." Jones said the state legislature should investigate.
"I’m not clear that this is a clean process,” Jones told the newspaper. "If this person, or anyone, is given a special advantage in the form of the tax credits to do this, I would have some real challenges."
The tax credits were approved by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, made up of Christie appointees. The Hampshire Companies partnered with a nonprofit organization, Medical Missions, for the development project.
After receiving questions from the Guardian, a spokesman for the Hampshire Companies told the paper the firm “decided that they won’t be able to participate in this opportunity.”
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