Mike Pence releases 10 years of tax returns
Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence released 10 years of tax returns on Friday evening, a disclosure that Donald Trump, his partner on the Republican ticket, has so far declined to make.
The returns from the Pence family date from 2006 until 2015. And they show that - unlike Trump's -- Mike Pence's finances are relatively routine.
Last year, Pence's gross adjusted income was $113,026; he paid an effective tax rate of 12.4 percent and gave about $9,000 to charity, according to the campaign.
Joe Perry, national partner in charge of tax and business services at Marcum LLP, said that Pence's taxes show "a return that an average family would file."
Since 2006, the family's income has fluctuated between about $188,000 in 2010 to just north of $110,000 now. In 2015, the family's earnings were its lowest in the last 10 years.
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Perry noted that Pence's charitable giving is significant particularly compared to many more wealthy taxpayers.
"I have clients who make substantially more money than he does, and his charitable contributions exceed what mine would give," he said.
Critics have called on Trump to release his tax records, which he says he will do only upon completion of an IRS audit. But Trump also suggested this week that he would immediately release his tax returns if Hillary Clinton releases emails she deleted on her private server.
Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a nonpartisan watchdog organization, said that Pence's returns showed no surprises and demonstrated that the family has not grown its wealth while in public service.
"Everything we see in Pence's tax returns are very likely to stand in stark contrast to Trump's tax returns, which apparently is why Trump's taxes remain a secret today and no doubt will continue to be a secret long after the election," he said.
Karen Pence, who in recent years ran a watercolor and crafts business that made nearly no money, used to bring in up to $35,000 toward the family income while the family resided in the DC area during her husband's tenure in Congress. She worked as a teacher at private Christian schools in the Virginia area.
Pence foreshadowed his rather mundane tax returns during a speech at the Reagan Presidential Library on Thursday, citing Harry Truman as once saying "an honest public servant can't become rich in politics." He followed by noting, "The Pences pass that test."
It appears Pence has not profited — outside of his salary as congressman and governor — off of his time in public office, based on the ten years of returns he released on Friday.
Pence, who now lives in the governor's mansion in Indianapolis, often jokes on the campaign trail that he is quite similar to his running mate, Donald Trump — except for the amount of money in their bank accounts.
"I always tell people — I mean, but for a whole lot of zeroes, he and I have an awful lot in common," Pence cracked on Thursday.