NEW HAVEN, CT — With a little more than two weeks left before the Nov. 6 election, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ned Lamont released his last five years of state and federal tax returns and challenged Republican Bob Stefanowski to follow suit.
The 2013-17 tax returns from Lamont were submitted by the Oct. 15 extension deadline and released to reporters Friday at the law offices of Hershman Legal Group in New Haven without Lamont in attendance.
Lamont, who recently retired from his cable company, disclosed in 2006 that he and his wife, Annie, had assets between $90 million and $300 million. The federal disclosure required for his run for U.S. Senate requires candidates to state a range of assets, rather than a precise number, for a candidate’s net worth.
Friday’s tax releases showed that Lamont earned nearly $18 million over the past five years — the lion’s share from dividends and capital gains from their investments.
The Lamont’s file their taxes separately, so the returns didn’t include Annie’s earnings.
It also showed that the Lamont paid $1.343 million in state income taxes over that period and $3.49 million in federal income taxes.
The returns further showed that Lamont made $2.46 million in charitable contributions over the last five years to 20 different organizations, including Bridgeport public schools, the Boys & Girls Club of Hartford, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the National Audubon Society, and the Klingberg Family Centers in New Britain, among others.
The amount of money given to each charity wasn’t listed.
“The release of my tax returns provides more information than anyone in this race has shared with the people of Connecticut,” Lamont said in a statement.
“This is about transparency, and about being open and honest with voters,” Lamont went on. “Donald Trump refused to release his tax returns, and so far Bob Stefanowski has followed in his footsteps. Bob has a Trump-like scheme to raise property taxes on the middle class in order to cut income taxes for Connecticut’s wealthiest residents — all at the expense of good schools, better roads, and affordable health care,” Lamont said.
A spokesman for Stefanowski, a former GE and UBS executive who recently retired as CEO of DFC Global, one of the largest payday lending companies in the world, said Friday the candidate will be releasing a summary of his taxes “in the very near future.”
‘I don’t begrudge Ned for inheriting his fortune, however, it seems to have put him out of touch with the needs of hard-working people of Connecticut’s middle class,” Stefanowski spokesman Kendall Marr said. “Perhaps that is why he believes single mothers who are working two jobs should be sending more of their money to the state in the form of higher income taxes, a new statewide car tax, and tolls on our roads.”
Stefanowski, who has vowed to eliminate the state income tax over eight years, has a “bold plan” to jumpstart Connecticut’s economy, according to Marr. “To Ned, our tax burden may just seem like a drop in the bucket, but to the middle class families who will save thousands tax relief is a big deal,” Marr said.
Oz Griebel, who petitioned his way onto the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate this year, was the first gubernatorial candidate to release three years of personal income taxes.
Griebel, the former head of the MetroHartford Alliance, made $395,000 in 2017 and had $115,000 in taxes withheld. As a result he ended up getting a $20,000 refund. Griebel made similar amounts in 2016 and 2015, according to the returns.
Lamont’s tax returns showed that his income was $2.57 million in 2013; $3.2 million in 2014; $5.34 million in 2015; $1.5 million in 2016; and $5.34 million in 2017.
Again, most of that income was money realized from their investments.
In terms of taxes paid, in 2013, Lamont paid $411,988 in federal income tax and $187,110 in state income tax; in 2014 they paid $678,725 in federal and $240,653 in state taxes; in 2015 they paid $1,159,830 in federal and $398,452 in state taxes; in 2016 they paid $155,368 in federal and $124,720 in state taxes; in 2017 they paid $1,086,832 in federal and $392,240 in state taxes.
Lamont paid $4.83 million in taxes over the last five years at the federal tax rate of 30 percent on taxable income and 23.8 percent on capital gains. In terms of state income tax, Lamont paid the top state income tax rates of 6.7 percent in 2013 and 2014 and 6.99 percent in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Their charitable donations of $2.46 million represented about 13.70 percent of their overall income.
Lamont said Stefanowski should release both the income statement and the Schedule A, which shows how generous a person is to charities.
Lamont said he doesn’t want Stefanowski to decide against releasing his taxes after he and Griebel have released theirs, similar to what Trump did during his 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump still has not released his taxes.
Referring to Stefanowski’s repeated promise to eliminate the state income tax, Lamont’s statement about his tax release said that the “Connecticut Post recently reported that Bob’s plan would give a $1.3 billion break to the wealthiest 400 families of our state — the top 0.25 percent of the population. So it’s not surprise Bob is avoiding telling people the truth about where his income is from, how he stands to benefit from his own plan, and what he contributed in taxes to our state.”