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Rick Santorum releases his tax returns

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum meets with business leaders, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, in Tioga, N.D. (AP Photo/Williston Herald, Elijah Nouvelage)

Elijah Nouvelage/Williston Herald/AP

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum met with North Dakota business leaders yesterday.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has seen his income rise after leaving the Senate, mostly from his work as a consultant, according to his tax returns, which Santorum released Wednesday night.

In 2007, his first year out of the Senate, Santorum had an adjusted gross income of $659,600. His adjusted gross income rose the following two years, to $945,100 and then $1,116,700, before dropping to $923,400 in 2010.

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The majority of Santorum’s income came from his consulting business, Excelsior LLC. In his most successful year, 2009, Santorum earned a profit of $785,200 from his consulting work. Santorum and his wife Karen also listed between $42,000 and $55,000 in rental income, after expenses, each year, for several rental condominiums that they own.

The Associated Press reported that Santorum’s consulting income came from work he did on behalf of health care, energy, and socially conservative interests.

In 2006, Santorum’s last year in the Senate, senators were paid $165,200.

In 2007, Santorum had an effective tax rate of 25 percent. As his income grew, his effective tax rate increased to around 28 percent. He paid $167,700 in federal taxes in 2007; $262,000 in 2008; $310,200 in 2009; and $263,400 in 2010.

That is a far higher rate than Santorum’s Republican rival, Mitt Romney, paid. Romney, who received most of his income from investments and not wages, paid an effective tax rate of 14 percent for 2010. Romney, a former businessman, is far wealthier than any of his rivals, and earned $21.6 million in 2010, according to his tax returns. Republican candidate Newt Gingrich, a consultant and former House speaker, paid an effective tax rate of 31 percent. Gingrich reported $3.1 million in income in 2010.

The tax returns show that Santorum has contributed to charity – donating around 2 percent of his income each year.

In 2010, Santorum sold off some assets. He reported a loss of $9,700 when he sold 451 shares of Brandywine mutual funds. The Brandywine Funds are managed by Friess Associates, a company founded by Foster Friess, one of Santorum’s top financial backers. Santorum reported a gain of $3,300 when he sold 322 shares in Universal Health Services, the hospital management where Santorum sat on the board.

The returns were first released on Politico.

Shira Schoenberg can be reached at sschoenberg@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shiraschoenberg.
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