Governor Terry Branstad and his wife reported almost $227,000 in adjusted gross income on their 2012 federal taxes.
Branstad gets a $53,480 state pension for his stints as a member of the Iowa House, as Iowa’s lieutenant governor and for his previous 16-year run as governor. Branstad gets a $121,188 annual salary as governor. In addition, Branstad reported $22,000 in income for consulting work on his 2012 taxes, but Jeff Boeyink — Branstad’s chief of staff — said it’s for past work.
“It’s not for current consulting. He did no consulting in 2012. He’s simply the governor, but this is for past activity that occurred maybe as much as five or ten years ago that he is finally being paid for,” Boeyink said.
For instance, Boeyink said some fundraising contracts do not pay the consultant until the money pledged has been donated. Branstad and his wife, Chris, own 13 post offices and get rental income from the federal government for those properties. It takes 89 pages to print the couple’s state and federal tax returns.
“I would suggest that the size of the return is an editorial comment on the complexity of the tax code, but we can have that discussion some other day,” Boeyink joked with reporters this afternoon.
The governor’s chief of staff met with reporters, who were allowed to review the Branstad’s tax returns for an hour. The couple donated almost $31,000 to charity last year, which is 13.5 percent of their income. That high level of charitable giving helped reduce their federal income tax rate down to nine percent.
“Every year that the governor has served as governor, he has made it a practice to release his tax returns for the previous year in an effort to promote transparency and openness in his office,” Boeyink said to open today’s meeting with reporters.
Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds did not release her tax returns.
The Branstads owed almost $21,000 in federal taxes, but over-paid, so they’re getting a $12,000 refund. They owed about $7500 in state taxes and are due a $2700 refund from the State of Iowa.