Connect to share and comment

Santorum discloses four years of tax returns

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum released his tax returns Wednesday night, contrasting himself to Romney.

Santorum taxes released160212Enlarge
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum released four years of his tax returns, from 2007 to 2010, Wednesday night. (Bill Pugliano/AFP/Getty Images)

Rick Santorum released four years of his tax returns on Wednesday night, and attempted to set himself up as a contrast to his wealthier Republican opponents. 

Politico reported that Santorum and his wife Karen filed joint returns for all four years, and their adjusted gross income increased steadily, from about $659,000 in 2007, his first year out of the Senate, to $952,000 in 2008, to $1.1 million in 2009 and about $923,000 in 2010.

Santorum and his wife paid about $167,000 in taxes in 2007, about $262,000 in 2008, $310,000 in 2009, and $263,000 in 2010, according to Politico, who first released the tax returns.

Santorum's returns show a sharp rise in his personal wealth from his increased work as a Washington-based corporate consultant and media commentator, the Associated Press reported

This disclosure is the highest number of returns released to the public by a GOP candidate; neither Mitt Romney nor Newt Gingrich released several years' worth of documentation. 

More from GlobalPost: GOP debate: candidates battle over immigration, healthcare and taxes

Santorum paid over 27 percent of his adjusted gross income in federal taxes each of the past three years, almost double the 13.9 percent rate Romney paid on $21.6 million in income, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. Gingrich made just over $3 million in 2010, according to Slate

Santorum has presented himself as a social conservative and an outsider to Washington in the Republican primaries, emphasizing his family’s coal-mining background and his appeal to religious and working-class voters. With the release of his financial information, Santorum also sought to set himself up as a contrast to his rival Mitt Romney. 

"I don't have wealth. I don't have investments. I don't have capital gains," said Santorum, Politico reported. "Most of the assets that I ended up building was paying down a mortgage on my house that went down in value. So that's where most of my money went. But as far as the tax rates were concerned, (Romney) had dividend income, he had capital gains income and was taxed at 15 percent. I had ...income, which was taxed at a higher rate."

Santorum and his wife Karen also list several of their seven children as dependents, and took the standard deductions each year, according to the AP. In 2007, the Santorums took a $4,000 charity deduction for giving away “clothing, footwear, accessories and household items.”

The Santorums' returns indicate they were self-prepared, according to Politico. 

More from GlobalPost: Santorum says Romney isn’t right

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120216/rick-santorum-discloses-tax-returns