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THE NATION

First Family Reports $711,453 in Income

April 13, 2002|EDWIN CHEN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

WASHINGTON — President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush reported a net taxable income of $711,453 for 2001 and paid $250,221 in federal income taxes, according to their joint tax return. The document was released by the White House on Friday.

The bottom line for the couple was similar to their 2000 return, when they had a net taxable income of $744,682 and paid $240,342 in federal income taxes.

The Bushes' 2001 return shows they had a short-term capital loss in investments of $91,360. That was partially offset by a long-term capital gain of $55,126, thus creating a $36,234 net loss.

The losses were not fully specified, but some likely involved setbacks in the stock or bond markets, or both, according to Philip J. Holthouse, a certified public accountant and partner in the Los Angeles-area firm of Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt, who reviewed the return for The Times.

The return did show some losses related to the sale several years ago of Bush's share in the Texas Rangers baseball team.

Bush's 2001 income included most of the $400,000 salary for the presidency (he took office Jan. 20), salary he earned as Texas governor in 2000 but was not paid until 2001, and investment income from blind trusts in which his and Mrs. Bush's assets are held.

The couple's return also showed they contributed $82,700 to churches and various charitable organizations, including Sept. 11-related funds, Southern Methodist University in Dallas (Mrs. Bush's alma mater) and the Evergreen Chapel at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains.

A year ago, the Bushes reported $143,300 in charitable contributions, including $75,000 the president had earned in royalties from his autobiography. The return further showed the couple paid $18,823 in property taxes, likely on their 1,600-acre Prairie Chapel ranch near Crawford, Texas.

Like an increasing number of taxpayers, the Bushes declined, as they did last year, to designate $3 of their tax money to help finance presidential elections.

The first couple did not sign their return; instead, it was signed, under power of attorney, by a vice president of the Northern Trust Co. of Chicago, acting as their trustee.

The tax returns for Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, are to be released Monday, according to a spokeswoman for the vice president.

Last year, the couple reported an adjusted gross income of $36 million for 2000 and paid more than $14 million in federal taxes.

The vice president's wage and salary income had included $806,332 in salary and $4,333,500 in deferred compensation and bonuses from Halliburton Co., the energy services firm where he was chief executive officer until he resigned Aug. 16, 2000, to become Bush's running mate.

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