McCain: 2007 taxable income of $258,000

April 18, 2008 1:28:30 PM PDT
Republican presidential candidate John McCain has a Senate salary, a Navy pension, monthly Social Security income, book royalties, and a wealthy wife. He also donated more than $100,000 last year to charitable organizations. Much of the contributions went to a family foundation, which in turn donated to an organization that helps victims of facial deformities.

In all, the 71-year-old Arizona senator reported total income of $405,409 last year, and paid $84,460 in federal income taxes. The Republican presidential candidate files his taxes separately from his wife, Cindy, whose fortune is in the $100 million range.

Because Arizona is a community property state, McCain and his wife each must report one-half of their shared income and expenses. So, though McCain reported $258,800 in taxable income on his 2007 return, the couple's joint taxable income was twice that amount. And overall, the couple's total earned income for last year was more than $771,000.

McCain's two Democratic rivals released information about their taxes earlier. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton file their taxes jointly with their spouses, giving a broader picture of each family's wealth and income last year.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, reported making $4.2 million in 2007, while the Clintons reported $20.4 million in income.

All three White House candidates are senators, whose salaries are under $200,000 a year. But book royalties, pensions, spousal speaking fees and other income add far more.

McCain routinely is ranked among the richest in Congress, but he and his wife have kept their finances separate throughout their 27-year marriage. A prenuptial agreement left much of the family's assets in the name of Cindy McCain, heiress to a Phoenix-based beer distributing company.

McCain's tax return, released Friday, indicated that he paid $84,460 in taxes on taxable income of $258,800. He gave $105,467 - a quarter of his total earnings - to charitable organizations, most of which went to the John and Cindy McCain Family Foundation. The foundation then distributed much of the money to charities. The donations include royalties from five of his books, including the memoirs "Faith of My Fathers" and "Worth the Fighting For."

His income included his Senate salary of $161,708, a Navy pension of $58,358 and Social Security income of $23,157. His return shows that he paid $17,700 in alimony last year; he and his first wife divorced some three decades ago.

McCain reported paying $136,572 in wages to household employees in 2007. Aides say the McCains pay for a caretaker for a cabin in Sedona, Ariz., child care for their teenage daughter, and a personal assistant for Cindy McCain.

The campaign says she will not release her tax returns to protect the privacy of the couple's four children; details of their wealth are included in her filing.

McCain's filing, however, gives some clues to his wife's earnings last year.

According to the returns, Cindy McCain's income from the beer distributorship, Hensley & Company, was $432,991 in 2007. McCain's campaign also released his 2006 individual tax returns. For 2006, he reported paying $72,771 on taxable income of $215,304. He also reported charitable gifts of $64,695.

Earlier this week, Obama and his wife reported a significant jump in their income from the previous year. Profits from his books "Dreams From My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope" accounted for some $4 million. The Obamas paid federal taxes of $1.4 million and donated $240,370 to charity.

The Clintons released the overall income figure but have asked for an extension on filing their returns. Almost half the former first couple's money came from Bill Clinton's speeches. The Clintons have made nearly $109 million since leaving the White House in 2001, capitalizing on lucrative business ventures and his speaking engagements.

The Democratic National Committee criticized McCain for not releasing more than two years of returns and for not releasing his wife's tax returns, noting that the Republican National Committee called on 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry to release the tax returns of his multimillionaire wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.

"John McCain's lack of transparency is troubling and raises questions about what he's hiding," DNC Chairman Howard Dean said in a statement.