Both major candidates running for governor in Massachusetts have refused to share copies of their latest tax returns.
The disclosure isn't required by law, but many politicians provide the documents when running for state or federal offices, especially U.S. president.
Maura Healey, the Democratic nominee for governor, released several years of tax returns when she was first running for attorney general in 2014. At the time, a campaign spokesman told the Boston Globe the move was an effort to become the "most open and transparent attorney general in the country." And in 2006, then Attorney General Thomas Reilly proactively released his tax returns in his losing campaign for governor.
But both Healey and Republican Geoff Diehl declined WBUR's request to release last year's tax filings. The campaigns said they might change their minds if their opponent releases the documents first.
A political science professor said the decision could make voters wonder if they have something to hide.
"This is an example of not being very transparent," said Michael Kryzanek, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Bridgewater State University. "The returns have been viewed as kind of an obligation of those seeking public office."
Healey's filing shows her only income in 2021 was her salary for attorney general, now just over $185,000 a year — about the same salary as the Massachusetts governor receives. She did not report any business or real estate interests in Massachusetts, except for investments in mutual funds.
"As a public official, Maura has filed extensive financial disclosures for the past eight years and her salary is publicly available," said campaign spokesperson Karissa Hand said in a statement, while declining to release the tax returns.
Diehl's filing shows he earned more than $100,000 as a manager for 1A Auto of Nashua, New Hampshire (but the form did not require him to list the exact amount). 1A is a major online auto parts supplier owned by Rick Green, a substantial contributor to the state Republican party. Diehl also reported he co-owns Boss Academy of Performing Arts, a Hanson dance studio, along with his wife.
Tax returns generally contain more precise information about people's income, as well as key deductions for charities and other expenses.