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Jeb Bush Releases 33 Years of Tax Returns

Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2015 – 6:32 PM

(AFP) Jeb Bush released 33 years of tax returns Tuesday, the most by any US presidential candidate, with records showing he has made $29 million since leaving the Florida governor’s mansion in 2007.

The documents show that in 2013, the latest year for which figures are available, Bush made $7.36 million, much of that through consulting and speaking fees.

According to his campaign, Bush is worth between $19 and $22 million, which puts him among the wealthiest in the crowded 2016 race for the White House.

In a statement on his website where 1,150 pages of tax returns were made public, Bush said he put out the information to “show voters how I earned a living over the past three decades and how much of that living I had to give back to Uncle Sam.”

The move is a challenge of sorts to his White House rivals, notably Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner whose family fortune has swelled in recent years.

Bush, 62, stated that his average federal tax rate over the period was 36 percent, well above the 17.1 percent paid by the average American household, according to the Tax Policy Center.

“I think I speak for everyone, no matter your tax rate: we need to get more money back in your pocket and less in the federal kitty,” Bush said.

He added that he paid a “higher tax rate than the Clintons even though I earned less income.”

It was also a higher rate than previous Republican nominee Mitt Romney paid in 2011, the year before he sought the White House.

Romney paid a tax rate of 14.1 percent on more than $13 million in income, figures that helped fuel a political controversy over his personal finances.

Bush made just $43,000 in 1981, the returns show. His income rapidly rose as he launched a real estate business, which earned him $782,000 in 1998, the year before he became governor.

In 2007 after two terms as governor, Bush created a consulting firm and his wealth soared. 

He earned millions from contracts with Lehman Brothers and Barclays, and served on several boards of directors, from which he resigned as he began planning a presidential run.

Bush’s tax return release surpasses the previous record of 30 years set in 1996 by Bob Dole, then the Republican challenger to Bill Clinton.

The Clintons, engaged in politics since the 1970s when Bill was elected governor of Arkansas, published their returns in the 1980s and 1990s.

They also released their returns from 2001 to 2009, when Hillary Clinton served in the US Senate.

When she served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, Clinton released financial disclosure forms, as is required of all senior administration officials.


© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

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