Kasich Follows Rubio, Cruz in Releasing Abbreviated Tax Returns

  • Ohio governor and wife earned $5.1 million over seven years
  • Spokesman says front-runner Trump hasn't released `anything'

Ohio Governor John Kasich and his wife Karen paid about $1.3 million in federal taxes on the adjusted gross income of $5.1 million that they earned over a seven-year period, according to documents released by the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign.

The couple’s annual effective federal tax rate was 24.3 percent, according to Kasich for America, which released the first two pages of each tax return the couple filed from 2008 through 2014. The family also paid state taxes totaling $376,272 during this period.

John Kasich

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Kasich, first elected governor of Ohio in 2010, didn’t release the schedules for his returns that would have provided detail on the family’s business income, dividends, capital gains and deductions. Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, competitors for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, also omitted such schedules when they released their respective tax returns in late February.

“We have done what the others in the race have done,” Rob Nichols, Kasich’s press secretary, said in a telephone interview. Nichols said that the Republican front-runner, billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump, “hasn’t released anything.”

Clinton Returns

In July, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, released full tax returns covering an eight-year period from 2007 through 2014. The documents showed that the Clintons paid an average federal tax rate of 31.6 percent on the $139.1 million that they earned during the period.

In addition to his salary as Ohio’s governor, Kasich derived his income during the period from his work as a public speaker, board member, author, commentator on Fox News and as an employee of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the New York-based brokerage that collapsed during the financial crisis.

While Karen Kasich’s occupation is given as “vice president” in the returns for years prior to 2011, she last worked in that position for Gerbig, Snell, Weisheimer, a public relations firm now known as GSW Worldwide, around 2002, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Lehman Brothers

The couple’s highest earnings came in 2008, when they reported total income of about $1.4 million. That was the final year that Kasich worked for Lehman Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy protection that September after failing to wring a bailout from the federal government.

Kasich, who as an Ohio Representative became chairman of the House Budget Committee, hosted “Heartland With John Kasich” on Fox News Channel after leaving Congress. He has also written three books.

Kasich and his wife earned $892,609 in 2009 and $862,878 in 2010, including business income of $315,502 and $454,848 during the two respective years. While their business income fell to less than $140,000 in each of the two successive years, the decline was offset in part by distributions from individual retirement accounts, the tax documents show. These distributions totaled about $279,000 in each of 2011 and 2012.

Inheritance Payouts

Karen Kasich received the IRA distributions as an inheritance from her late father, according to Nichols. Her father had begun taking distributions from his individual retirement account, and there was still money left when he died. Federal law requires that the distributions he initiated continue to be made to heirs such as his daughter, Nichols said.

The Kasichs’ earnings fell to $313,705 in 2013 and $402,603 the following year, the tax filings show. They paid federal taxes at an effective rates of 15.1 percent in 2013 and 18.5 percent in 2014, according to Saturday’s release.

The forms showed that the Kasichs overpaid their taxes by $127,787 in 2008 and by smaller amounts in 2012 and 2013 -- the equivalent of giving the federal government an interest-free loan.

Financial disclosure forms filed with the Federal Election Commission, and made public in August 2015, showed Kasich, his wife and their two daughters had a net worth of between $9.1 million and $22.3 million, the Columbus Dispatch reported at the time.

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