Throwing down the tax return gauntlet against both Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders and President Donald Trump, Sen. Kamala Harris of California released 15 years of her tax returns, the most of any 2020 Presidential candidate.
Harris released her taxes from 2004 to 2018, “making her the most transparent candidate in the field when it comes to information about personal finances,” said a campaign aide. “This is a stark contrast with President Trump, who refuses to release his tax returns.”
The aide added Harris supports congressional legislation requiring a president’s tax returns be made public.
Sanders, who has repeatedly promised to release his tax returns and recently revealed his book deals made him a millionaire, is expected to release his returns on Monday, the tax filing deadline for 2018.
According to Harris’ tax returns reviewed by CNN and Tim Steffen, director of Advance Planning at Baird, the California Democrat and her attorney husband, Douglas Emhoff, reported an adjusted gross income for 2018 of $1,889,156. Emhoff, an entertainment and intellectual property lawyer and law partner at DLA Piper Law Firm, brings in the overwhelming bulk of the couple’s wealth and investments.
Harris’ returns show she earned $157,352 as a US senator. Harris reported a net income of $320,125 from her writing — she published “The Truths We Hold” earlier this year. In 2018, the couple donated $27,259 to charity – among the recipients were Harris’ alma mater, Howard University at $5,000, and South Central Scholars, a scholarship program for high-achieving, low-income students. Over the last five years, Harris and her husband paid more than $2.2 million in federal taxes, at an approximate 33% tax rate. In the 10 years before Harris married, she paid just under $350,000 in federal taxes.
Steffen says prior to her married tax filing in 2014, Harris’ filings over the previous decade had a fairly basic tax return. Her income while in public office also shows a decline as she climbed from San Francisco district attorney to California attorney general. Her election to the state office sliced about $43,000 off her salary. The state AG salary also dropped year after year, due to state mandated pay cuts for state salaries in the wake of the financial crisis.
Steffen says according to his analysis, Trump’s tax cut act had little impact on Harris’ personal taxes. In her campaign for president, Harris has repeatedly called for a repeal of Trump’s tax plan. As a US senator, Harris has introduced a middle class tax plan, that she calls her LIFT Act. She also pledges should she win the Presidency, she would increase teacher pay through federal funding.