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Palins release their tax returns

October 04, 2008|From the Associated Press

ANCHORAGE — Sarah Palin earns more than husband Todd, who takes a lot of deductions for his fishing and snow-machine-racing careers, according to the Palins’ 2007 and 2006 federal tax returns, released Friday.

The Alaska governor makes $125,000 a year. Plus, since she took the job in December 2006, she hasn't paid taxes on the more than $17,000 she received in controversial per diem payments for working out of the family's lakeside home in Wasilla -- some 575 miles from the capital of Juneau.

A spokesman said the payments are tax-exempt.

For the 2007 tax year, Todd Palin's self-employment brought him $66,893 in gross receipts -- $49,893 from fishing and $17,000 from snow-machine racing. After deductions he reported $15,513 net profit from the fishing operation and a $9,639 loss from his racing, leaving him with an overall net income of $5,874.

Those deductions enabled the Palins, with four dependent children, to enjoy a 15% tax rate for 2007 and a rate of less than 10% for 2006. A fifth child was born to the couple this year.

Todd Palin also deducted for the business use of their home in Wasilla.

An Associated Press analysis of the returns, released by the McCain campaign, also reveals that the Palins underpaid their estimated taxes with an April extension and probably owe interest.

Overall, the 2007 return shows that the couple had an adjusted gross income of $166,080 and paid $24,738 in taxes.

In 2006, the records show, the Palins earned $127,869 as adjusted gross income, with taxes of $11,944.

On federal financial disclosure forms, also released Friday, Palin and her husband listed assets worth $960,000 to $2.3 million. (Because the values of assets are reported in broad ranges, it's not possible to calculate an exact value for their holdings.)

Their most valuable asset is their Wasilla home, valued between $500,000 and $1 million. According to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the land and structure are appraised at $552,100.

Their next most valuable asset is a fishing leasehold, worth $100,000 to $250,000.

According to the tax returns, the Palins donated $8,105 to charity over the two years.

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