Michigan gubernatorial candidates release tax returns to the public
LANSING — Three more Michigan gubernatorial candidates have voluntarily released portions of their tax returns, saying the public deserves to know the information even though the state does not require candidates to disclose it.
Dr. Jim Hines and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, both Republicans, and Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, a Democrat, released details from their 2016 returns on Monday and Tuesday. Two other contenders, Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette and former Democratic legislative leader Gretchen Whitmer, disclosed details from their 2016 returns last year.
Candidates, who acted in conjunction with Sunshine Week and in response to a request from Bridge Magazine, are still working to file their 2017 returns and are expected to release them later.
Hines, who has given his self-funded campaign more than $670,000, and his wife Martha reported $457,000 in income, $21,000 in charitable donations and paying $114,000 in federal income taxes on $393,000 of taxable income. They also disclosed other financial information — real estate valued at between $2.5 million and $3 million and other assets worth between $9 million and $10 million, including shares in a surgical center and a flying club, investments and bank savings.
Hines listed a residence and rental property in Saginaw County, two vacation homes and vacant land in Roscommon County, and a property apparently affiliated with his medical practice, Valley OB-Gyn.
Calley, who makes about $111,000 a year as lieutenant governor, reported $104,000 in income — $64,000 of which was taxable. It was the year before his wife Julie began serving as a state legislator in a job that pays nearly $72,000.
The Calleys made $9,135 in charitable gifts and paid $5,500 in federal income taxes plus another $7,000 in state income and local property taxes.
His campaign also released asset disclosure forms it said are required for federal candidates. While state officials are not required to disclose their financial holdings or taxes — which makes Michigan an outlier — gubernatorial candidates and governors traditionally release at least summaries of their returns.
The Calleys, who also released other financial information, reported a home worth between $100,000 and $250,000, a 401(k) with $250,000 to $500,000 and an individual retirement account (IRA) with between $100,000 and $250,000. They also listed up to $15,000 in investments and up to $15,000 in savings/checking accounts.
El-Sayed, a doctor and former health director for the city of Detroit, and his wife Sarah Jukaku reported $238,000 in income and paying $45,000 in federal income taxes and $16,000 in state and local taxes on $210,000 of taxable income. They made $1,700 in charitable donations.
Shri Thanedar, a self-funded Democratic candidate who is a businessman and has given his campaign nearly $6 million, said he intends to release his financial information “sometime soon.” He said making it public now is “slightly premature.” Democrat Bill Cobbs, a retired business executive, could not immediately be reached.
Another candidate, Republican state Sen. Patrick Colbeck, so far has declined to release his tax return. Spokeswoman AnneMarie Schieber Dykstra said not one voter has asked him about it.
“The media assumes that somehow this is an indicator of how a candidate will act in office,” she said. “Patrick has been in office for nearly eight years and his record speaks for itself.”
Schuette, who makes roughly $112,000 a year as attorney general, has voluntarily released a portion of his federal tax return each year he has served as attorney general. He and his wife Cynthia reported $375,000 in income for 2016, $51,000 in charitable donations and paying $45,000 in federal income taxes and $61,000 in state and local taxes.
Whitmer, who filed an individual return separately from her husband Marc Mallory, reported $150,000 in income for 2016, when she was a private attorney and later an interim prosecutor for Ingham County.
She paid $28,000 in federal income tax. The document provided did not include the Schedule A form that would show gifts to charity or her state and local taxes paid.
Follow David Eggert on Twitter at: twitter.com/ DavidEggert00