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May 25, 2013

Massachusetts Senate hopeful Markey releases tax returns

BOSTON (AP) — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Edward Markey released eight years of tax returns Friday, showing virtually all he’s earned has come from his salary as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

During the period dating back to 2005, Markey reported earning a cumulative $1.2 million. The returns show Markey paid, on average, about 24 percent of his income in federal and state taxes.

In 2012, Markey reported income of $161,443. He paid $32,399 in federal taxes and $7,333 in state taxes.

In his 2012 returns, Markey also starting reporting Social Security income for the first time. He received $11,600 in benefits, $9,800 of which was considered taxable. That helped boost his income from the $155,614 he reported in 2011.

Markey filed his tax returns separately from his wife Susan Blumenthal. The couple owns Markey’s childhood home in Malden. They also own a home in Chevy Chase, Md.

In his returns, Markey used the alternative minimum tax, which, according to the Internal Revenue Service, helps ensure individuals who benefit from certain exclusions, deductions, or credits pay at least a minimum amount of tax.

Markey’s campaign allowed reporters to review copies of his state and federal tax returns Friday afternoon.

The returns showed no sudden increases and dramatic drops in Markey’s income during the eight years, from a low of $140,777 in 2007 to 2012’s high.

His tax rates also remained relatively even. In 2012 he paid a federal rate of 20 percent and a combined state and federal tax rate of 24.6 percent.

Markey also reports a home mortgage interest tax deduction in each of the returns. The deduction was $19,074 in 2005 but has steadily declined to $13,863 for his 2012 returns.

A Markey spokesman said the deduction reflects half the interest on both the Malden and Maryland homes.

His tax returns also include business tax deductions, in part related to the use of his car and travel expenses. The deduction has ranged from more than $10,000 some years to just over $7,400 last year.

Markey’s Republican challenger in the race, Cohasset resident and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez, reported earning more than $8.5 million from 2007 through 2011 and paid nearly $1.9 million in taxes.

Gomez made much of his money as a private equity investor.

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