Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
Bob Stefanowski (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie)

Republican Bob Stefanowski answered the challenge of his Democratic opponent for governor Saturday and released a summary of his last two years of tax returns, which showed he and his wife earned approximately $16.5 million in 2016 and 2017 and paid about $6.68 million in federal and state taxes.

Stefanowski’s summary fell short of what Democrat Ned Lamont, also a millionaire, released last week. Lamont allowed reporters to view his federal and state tax filings for the past five years in a New Haven law office for two hours.

Stefanowski’s summary was only for the past two years and had no listing of his charitable donations, which Lamont challenged him to release.

Kendall Marr, a spokesman for Stefanowski’s campaign, confirmed Saturday that they did not release a Schedule A, which is where any charitable donations would have appeared.

Polls indicate that Stefanowski, 56, and Lamont, 64, are in a close race as the November 6 election approaches – now only 10 days away.

“The returns show Bob and Amy Stefanowski’s effective tax rate of 38 percent in federal taxes in 2017 and 37 percent in 2016, in addition to paying the top rate of 6.99 percent in state income tax for both years,” Marr said. “The 2016 percentage reflects taxes paid in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, where Stefanowski’s employer was headquartered.”

Stefanowski resides with his wife and three daughters in Madison. Stefanowski, a former GE and UBS executive recently retired as CEO of DFC Global, one of the largest payday lending companies in the world, which has offices in Pennsylvania.

Stefanowski’s 2017 federal tax return summary, released electronically with blacked out Social Security numbers, lists more than $767,000 in itemized deductions; the 2016 federal return lists more than $367,000 in itemized deductions. The Stefanowski’s made a $350,000 tax payment when requesting the extension in 2017, but they paid nothing in requesting an extension in 2016.

In 2016 they received a refund of $137,015 and in 2017 they ended up paying $170,269 to the government when they filed.

Both Stefanowski and Lamont released their tax summaries after they filed Oct. 15.

Lamont, who recently retired from his cable company, claimed nearly $18 million in income over the past five years — the lion’s share from dividends and capital gains from investments.

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.

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 investments.

Lamont files separately from his wife Annie, who is a venture capitalist. Stefanowski’s wife Amy is a realtor. The returns show she paid $39,000 self-employment tax in 2017 and a $5,900 self-employment tax in 2016.

In terms of taxes paid, in 2013, Lamont paid $411,988 in federal income tax and $187,110 in state income tax; in 2014 paid $678,725 in federal and $240,653 in state taxes; in 2015 paid $1,159,830 in federal and $398,452 in state taxes; in 2016 paid $155,368 in federal and $124,720 in state taxes; in 2017 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. The charitable donations of $2.46 million represented about 13.70 percent of Lamont’s overall income.

When releasing his tax information, Lamont said Stefanowski should release both the income statement and the Schedule A, which shows how generous a person is to charities.

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.