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Bush Pays Taxes, Cheney Awaits Refund

April 15, 2006|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have filed their 2005 tax returns, the White House said Friday. Bush sent in a check for tax due whereas Cheney, who overpaid his taxes, is awaiting a $1.9-million refund.

Bush and the first lady paid $187,768 in federal taxes this year on income of $735,180, the White House said. Cheney and his wife made more than 10 times as much.

The Bushes contributed $75,560 -- about 10% of their income -- to churches and charitable organizations. Those included the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army's funds for hurricane relief in the United States and earthquake aid in Pakistan. They also gave to Martha's Table, which provides food and services to the underprivileged in the Washington area; the Archdiocese of New Orleans Catholic Charities; and the Mississippi Food Network.

The Bushes paid $26,172 in state property taxes on their ranch near Crawford, Texas, up about $4,000 from the year before.

The Cheneys reported adjusted gross income of about $8.82 million, a number largely padded with income they received by exercising stock options that had been set aside in 2001 for charity.

The Cheneys donated about $6.87 million to charity from the stock options and royalties earned on Lynne Cheney's books.

Recipients of their charitable donations included George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates for the benefit of the Cardiothoracic Institute, the University of Wyoming Foundation, and Capital Partners for Education, to benefit low-income high school students in the Washington area.

After subtracting the charitable contributions, the Cheneys' income was $1.95 million on which they owed $529,636 in taxes, according to a statement released by Cheney's office.

Since the Cheneys paid $2.46 million in withholding and estimated taxes over the year, they were entitled to a refund of about $1.93 million.

The Cheneys' income included the vice president's $205,031 government salary and $211,465 in deferred compensation from Halliburton Co., the Dallas energy services firm he headed until Aug. 16, 2000.

Cheney opted in December 1998 to recoup over five years a portion of the money he made in 1999 as Halliburton's chief executive. This amount was to be paid in annual installments -- with interest -- after Cheney's retirement from the company. The 2005 payment is the last.

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