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Star-Telegram.com

Perry tax returns show relatively modest income in 2010

Posted Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011

By Jay Root

The Texas Tribune

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been known to make a buck or two on real estate, but not in 2010.

Perry and his wife, Anita, took a loss of about $6,000 on the sale of their College Station home, and they reported a relatively modest $217,447 in adjusted gross income in 2010, according to their 2010 federal income tax records, released Friday.

The Perrys also paid a small penalty, $135, for slightly underestimating how much they owed Uncle Sam. All told, they paid $51,000 in federal taxes in 2010.

Bob Martin, a Houston accountant who has helped analyze the Perrys' tax returns for The Texas Tribune, said the governor's family income would probably seem modest compared with some of his GOP rivals in the presidential race, including former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

"He's not making a lot of money compared to some of these other people that he's up on the stage with," Martin said. "This is actually for two people. For Mitt Romney, this would be an insignificant amount."

Romney's income has been estimated at $190 million to $250 million, according to a report in The Boston Globe.

The Perrys gave a little more than 5 percent of their gross income to charity in 2010. That included a $10,000 donation to Austin's Lake Hill Church and a $2,500 gift to the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, which employs Anita Perry as a consultant.

Anita Perry reported $65,000 in income from TASA. Perry makes $150,000 as governor.

The Perrys pulled in a little less than $27,000 in investment income, stemming from their stake in the family-owned J.R. Perry Co. and various trusts. Perry is dissolving his own blind trust to comply with reporting requirements in his run for president.

In previous years, Perry made big gains by buying and selling property, including a profit of more than $800,000 from the sale of an exclusive tract on the shores of Lake LBJ. That helped push his income above $1 million in 2007 and invited criticism that he has used his political connections to turn a profit. Perry has said all the transactions were at arm's length and aboveboard.

While in public office, Perry has made about $2 million in pretax profits, according to available public records.

But Perry has also lost a bundle. He is still carrying more than $300,000 in long-term capital losses, some of it from investments in the stock market, his latest tax return shows. Perry deducted the maximum $3,000 in capital losses last year.

He also reported losing money on the February 2010 sale of the home in College Station. Perry reported that his "cost or other basis" from the purchase of the home was $231,148 in 2007. He listed the 2010 sales price as $225,000, reporting a loss of $6,148.

Perry is not required to disclose his tax returns, but in his runs for governor, he has voluntarily released them going back to the late 1980s.

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