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TAX NEWS - June 2010

Dayton and Kelliher will show their tax returns; Entenza and Emmer won't; Horner may

DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton said Wednesday that he would release his 2009 tax return and his DFL primary rival Margaret Anderson Kelliher quickly followed suit.

But DFLer Matt Entenza refused to make a similar pledge.

"We'll follow the disclosures that exist now. We are happy to follow the law," Entenza said.

Entenza, whose family wealth dwarfs that of most Minnesotans, would not answer if he was concerned that the number of commas in his tax returns would turn Minnesotans off.

"I'm concerned that we're not having debates," Entenza replied.

Dayton's mantra during his campaign has been "Tax the Rich," in his call to raise the income tax on the well-off. He's often said the rich can afford the taxes and he should know. His tax returns will make clear how well he knows.

Back in 2006, when he was in the U.S. Senate, he was required to disclose his assets. At that time, he reported that his net worth was between $3 million and $12 million. Minnesota law does not require candidates to report any income or asset figures.

But while Dayton did not say he would disclose his assets, he did say he would release his tax returns.

He made the pledge Wednesday at a news conference called for him to talk to the media about his proposals to help seniors.

Asked about disclosing his tax return, he paused for nine seconds and then said: "Yeah. I'll disclose it...within two weeks I'll disclose the summary."

He later said that he would release his entire 2009 tax return, not just the summary pages.

Kelliher said she too would make the voluntary disclosure.

"I think it's important for Minnesotans to know where their next governor earns their income from and that they are working Minnesotans," Kelliher said.

Both she and Dayton asked other candidates to do the same.

Entenza wasn't the only gubernatorial wannabe to say he wouldn't release.

Republican Tom Emmer's campaign said he was not available for an interview on the subject but his campaign released a statement saying: "The law requires candidates to disclose sources of income through a statement of economic interest, which we have filed. We will not be releasing Tom Emmer's income tax statement."

Independence Party candidate Tom Horner gave a qualified maybe on the disclosure question.

"I wouldn't rule anything out," Horner said. "When we see what it is that he's actually willing to put out and whether or not it has value to voters, then certainly I'll take a look at whether it is the right next step for me."
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