U.S. Sen. Brown, Warren Release Tax Returns
Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and likely Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren have released tax returns showing they and their spouses earned millions in the last several years.
In the most recent tax year, Brown and his wife, television reporter Gail Huff, reported total income of $510,856 and paid federal taxes of about $124,000 after a refund. They also contributed more than $16,000 to charity.
During the same 2011 tax year, Warren and her husband Bruce Mann reported total income of $616,181 and paid federal taxes of about $159,200. The couple donated more than $17,200 to charity.
Brown released six years of returns showing the couple earned more than $2.5 million during that time. Warren released four years of returns showing the couple earned nearly $3.4 million.
Warren posted shorter versions of her tax returns online for the public to see. Brown allowed reporters to view his complete returns, but only in his campaign office, and he would not allow copies to be made.
In 2010, Brown and his wife reported total income of $839,520 and paid $237,447 in taxes.
Brown served in the Senate the last two years and also earned $1 million on his book "Against All Odds" that was reported on his returns for those two years.
In the four previous years, when Brown was a state legislator, he and his wife earned between $294,000 and $357,000 per year.
Brown reported itemized deductions of $105,769 in 2011, including the charitable deductions, and $14,132 paid in real estate taxes on his home in Massachusetts, his home in Washington, D.C., a vacation property and two rental condominiums in Boston.
In 2010, Warren and her husband reported total income of $954,721 and paid $267,250 in taxes.
Warren and her husband reported earning $980,670 in 2009, paying $282,210 in federal taxes and donating $24,442 to charity. In 2008, they earned $831,021, paid $235,382 in federal taxes and donated $26,534 to charity.
Brown reported earning a $700,000 advance on his book on his 2010 return, and $300,000 in royalties from it on his 2011 returns, for a total $1 million in proceeds over the two years, though he also reported more than $100,000 in expenses related to the book.
Brown's campaign manager, Jim Barnett, said a third Boston condo in his daughter Ayla's name was not reported on Brown's taxes because he did not claim the deductions on the property.
Brown's campaign has tried to portray Warren, a consumer advocate and Harvard University law professor, as an out-of-touch liberal elitist.
According to her returns, Warren paid an effective federal tax rate of nearly 26 percent in 2011 and nearly 29 percent in 2009, the couple's highest earning year.
Brown's effective federal tax rate was 24 percent in 2011, more than 28 percent in 2010 and between 21 percent and 22 percent from 2006 to 2009.
Warren has been a backer of the so-called "Buffett rule" bill that would increase taxes on millionaires. Brown voted against the bill, calling it a political stunt
In 2011, Brown and his wife reported $243,781 in wages, including $142,821 from the U.S. Senate, $85,130 from Huff's salary from her employer, Allbritton Communications, and $15,780 that Brown earned from his service in the Massachusetts National Guard. The couple also reported stock dividends of $1,045 in 2010 and $1,614 in 2011.
Even before the release of the returns, Democrats attempted to turn the tables on the incumbent, releasing a video Friday in which they say Brown is a millionaire who owns multiple homes and stock in banks and oil companies.
They also mocked the trademark barn coat that Brown campaigned in during the special election in 2010 for the seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy, citing reports that the jacket cost more than $600.
Brown's campaign manager, Jim Barnett, criticized Warren for not releasing her tax returns for 2006 and 2007, saying she was "clearly hiding something."
Warren has said that she would only release four years because that covered the period she was in public service, as head of a congressional oversight committee on the 2008 Wall Street bailout, and as a founder of a federal consumer protection agency.
The Senate race is on its way to being one of the most expensive in the country and the costliest in Massachusetts history.
Brown's campaign had nearly $15 million in his re-election account as of the end of March compared with the nearly $11 million in Warren's account. Warren, however, was able to raise more than twice as Brown in the first three months of the year.
This article was originally published on April 27, 2012.
This program aired on April 27, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.