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Candidates vying to replace Newsom disclose their tax returns

California voters get unprecedented insight into the personal finances of candidates seeking to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom in the September recall election, after hundreds of pages of documents were posted online detailing the wages, investments and taxes paid to the over the past five years.

The wide-ranging disclosure was quietly carried out by state election officials on Sunday under a 2019 state law originally designed to force tax disclosure by then-President Trump – a provision overturned by federal and state courts, leaving the governorship mandate in place. in California.

Forty-one candidates qualified for the Sept. 14 recall election last week, though the final number remained uncertain on Monday after Tory radio host Larry Elder insisted his name was withheld from wrong from the list. The staff of Secretary of State Shirley Weber released a letter to Elder saying his tax return was “incomplete.”

Newsom, who could be removed from office before the end of his four-year term, has already disclosed several years of personal income, including $ 1.7 million in 2019 and has supported similar transparency from his opponents to the recall. Even so, the law he signed two years ago says it applies to candidates seeking to be included in “a direct primary election ballot”, leaving an open question as to whether an election of recall should be treated in the same way.

Some candidate forms offer simple declarations of wages earned and taxes owed. Others – including several prominent Republicans seeking to replace Newsom – have provided personal income tax returns that outline a complex infrastructure of payments received and debts owed.

Among the top contenders for the GOP, reality TV star and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner reported the highest combined earnings with income of over $ 5.5 million from 2016 to 2019, largely coming from appearances on television and its entertainment and publishing companies.

Jenner’s publishing house CJ Memories Inc. grossed $ 1.5 million in 2017, likely thanks to her book “Secrets of My Life,” published that same year. The memoir reveals her struggles with gender identity and the effect it has had on her three marriages, also offering a glimpse into her life as a member of the Kardashians when the reality show “Keeping Up With the Family Kardashian ”launched them to worldwide fame.

The candidate, who left the state last week for an appearance on a reality TV show in Australia, did not provide a 2020 tax return. A spokesperson for Jenner did not respond to questions at this or any other information contained in income tax returns.

In 2019, Jenner reported adjusted gross income of $ 546,602 and, after subtracting her refund, paid $ 142,000 in federal income taxes.

The TV star did not donate to charity in 2019, but gave a total of $ 446,000 over the previous three years. Most of the donations went to the Caitlyn Jenner Foundation, which funded the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the University of Texas for social justice and prevention of gender discrimination, and Trans Chorus LA. In 2016, Jenner donated her Porsche 911 GT3 to her foundation, which she valued at $ 169,400 – the sports car had only driven 15,334 miles.

With income from her investments and a pension from the Screen Actors Guild, Jenner received regular income from her entertainment company, Cait’s World Inc. – the official trademark owner of Caitlyn Jenner, according to U.S. Office records. patents and trademarks. Jenner received a salary from Team Tours in 2016; state records show that there is a Burbank company by that name that handles the payroll of artists and musicians.

Detailed finances were also reported by San Diego-area businessman John Cox, whose records show $ 2.7 million earned from 2016 to 2019, the bulk of which came from investments in properties. rental.

Cox reported adjusted gross income of $ 910,100 in 2018, of which $ 539,746 was from rental real estate and business partnerships. In 2019, he reported $ 543,900 in income from real estate rentals and $ 393,000 in capital gains on equity investments – reduced after deductions and losses to adjusted gross income of $ 278,900.

Over the two years, the GOP political activist and former gubernatorial candidate received large tax refunds after citing his losses and deductions: in 2018, all of his $ 350,000 in tax payments, except $ 11,600 were reimbursed. In 2019, Cox’s tax return shows that he paid $ 56,700 in federal taxes and reimbursed almost everything except about $ 1,000.

Cox also said he made charitable contributions of $ 170,000 in 2019 in the form of inventory and use of group property, with $ 150,000 going to the Rescue California Education Foundation – often cited with the candidate’s unsuccessful efforts in recent years. years to qualify a voting measure that would have enlarged the size of the state legislature. The previous year, he said he had given $ 491,000 to charity, although he did not list the groups that benefited from the donations.

Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has not made the 2020 statements available, with his campaign claiming the candidate has yet to file them. In joint filings for 2019, Faulconer and his wife, Katherine Stuart, reported adjusted gross income of $ 358,119 – a significant increase from filings released for the previous three years. The bulk of that income in 2019 came from event planning activity at Stuart’s restaurants, while Faulconer’s salary as mayor was $ 71,221.

The couple donated $ 6,652 to charity and paid $ 53,660 in federal taxes. They reported adjusted gross income of $ 186,429 in 2018, paying $ 23,394 in federal taxes. The year before, Faulconer and Stuart reported their combined adjusted gross income at $ 199,640, up from $ 142,609 in 2016.

Two Sacramento-area Republicans participating in the recall provide an example of the wide range of personal finances and wealth. MP Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin), reported $ 113,311 in revenue in 2020, almost all of which came from his statutory salary. Former Rep. Doug Ose, meanwhile, provided a more than 100-page tax return for 2019 that included complicated transactions from multiple companies, a trust, and foreign income. The GOP real estate investor reported adjusted gross income that year of $ 710,910. He owed $ 193,086 in federal taxes, but received a refund of $ 67,073 based on prior payments and credits from the previous tax year.

Other contestants, known for their pop culture personalities, also shed light on their earnings.

Kevin Paffrath, personal finance entrepreneur and real estate broker, also said he has yet to file his 2020 tax returns. In joint returns for 2019, he and his wife, Lauren Paffrath, reported $ 468,458 of adjusted gross income that year and paid $ 83,463 in federal taxes. About half of their income came from their business, the Paffrath Organization, and the candidate told The Times that real estate commissions and YouTube income made up the bulk of the company’s income. The couple also own eight rental properties, according to their 2019 filing.

Voters are unlikely to learn much from the financial tax returns of Angelyne, the singularly named model known for her Los Angeles billboards. Angelyne, who also participated in the 2003 recall, paid no federal taxes in 2020 or 2019 and reported negative adjusted gross income in both years. She said she received $ 28,200 in unemployment benefits in 2020, including $ 1,800 that she said she repaid. She said she made $ 777,574 in gross revenue or sales and $ 284,352 in gross profit that year.

The artist, often seen driving around LA in a hot pink Corvette, said in her tax returns that she owned three of the vehicles, all primarily for business purposes.

Two of the candidates said they had not filed any tax returns in the past five years. Others have only disclosed the equivalent of one or two years of tax returns. A spokesperson for the secretary of state said on Monday that all of the candidates listed online were determined to meet the requirements of the 2019 law.

Nickolas Wildstar, a Republican candidate from Fresno who said he was an “independent digital salesman,” said the Internal Revenue Service had contacted him in the past about his tax filing status and that he would eliminate income taxes if elected governor.

“I support voluntary taxation,” said Wildstar. “I don’t feel the government should be collecting this money without our consent.”

The personal income tax disclosure came amid a wave of activity ahead of the recall election at the end of the summer. Candidates faced a Friday deadline to secure a spot on the ballot and final lines are expected by the end of this week. From there, Newsom and the replacement candidates will have to campaign in a sprint, with just eight weeks until Election Day.

In reality, the campaign will end up being even shorter – ballots will be mailed to every registered voter, a special arrangement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, starting in mid-August. That, added to the growing popularity of postal voting, will stand in stark contrast to the recall of 2003 in which voters withdrew the then government. Gray Davis from the office. In this contest, over 70% of all ballots were cast in person.

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