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Political Notebook

Ryan tax rates revealed in two years of returns

Paul Ryan spoke during a campaign event Friday in Virginia.
Paul Ryan spoke during a campaign event Friday in Virginia.Richmond Times-Dispatch/associated press

WASHINGTON – Paul Ryan and his wife paid an effective tax rate of 20 percent last year and 15.9 percent the year before, according to tax returns the presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee released late on Friday afternoon.

Ryan’s tax returns, released through Mitt Romney’s campaign, show that he paid $64,764 in taxes on $323,416 of adjusted gross income in 2011. He and his wife paid $34,233 in taxes on $215,417 of adjusted gross income in 2010.

Just more than half of the couple’s income came through Ryan’s congressional salary, according to the returns, with the other amounts coming from a variety of investments, including rental real estate, partnerships, and trusts.

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The Ryans donated $12,991 to charity in 2011, and $2,600 to charity in 2010 — which are 4 percent and 1.2 percent of his income, respectively. Those contributions went to such groups as the Boy Scouts of America, Junior Achievement, and Women and Children’s Horizons, according to the campaign.

Although Ryan’s income is more than what the average person makes, his tax returns are fairly straightforward and would be familiar to most Americans, unlike Romney’s returns, which illustrate the complexities of the US tax system. Ryan’s 2010 tax returns are 59 pages, for example, about the same number in which Romney deals with just his transactions with foreign entities.

Ryan committed last weekend to releasing two years of tax returns, the same as Romney.

The tax returns were first reported by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which noted that much of Ryan’s investment income comes through his wife.

“These are properties Rep. Ryan ‘married into,’ for lack of a better term,” Ryan spokesman Kevin Seifert told the Journal-Sentinel. “He does not play an active role in them and has no plans to.”

Janna Ryan inherited a trust, worth between $1 million and $5 million, after her mother’s death in 2010.

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Ryan, as well as Romney’s campaign, declined to say how many of his tax returns were provided for the vice presidential selection vetting process — and whether that number differs from the number they are providing for voters to vet. Romney, who was being considered as a running mate by Senator John McCain in 2008, provided 23 years’ worth of tax returns to McCain’s campaign.

The releases of tax returns have played an outsized role during the 2012 presidential race, in large part driven by interest in the returns of Romney, one of the wealthiest candidates to ever run for president.

Romney has been reluctant to release his tax returns, and only did so in January under persistent criticism from his Republican primary opponents.

At the time, Romney released his complete 2010 tax returns, along with an estimate for his 2011 returns. He has not released his 2011 returns, after filing for an extension.

Romney paid an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent in 2010 on more than $21.7 million in income; he said he expected to pay 15.4 percent on income of $20.9 million in 2011.

Romney said on Thursday he paid at least 13 percent in each of the last 10 years, a comment that was in part meant to rebut assertions from Senate majority leader Harry Reid that Romney went 10 years without paying any federal taxes.

On Friday, campaign aides for Romney and Obama continued to squabble over the tax return issue, drafting letters to one another and releasing them publicly.

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“Governor Romney apparently fears that the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina wrote in a letter to Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades.

Messina said that if Romney released his tax returns from 2007 through 2012 — three additional years — then the Obama campaign would not criticize Romney any longer for not releasing tax returns.

Rhoades responded with a message declining the offer and chiding the Democrats for continuing to focus on Romney’s tax returns.

“It is clear that President Obama wants nothing more than to talk about Governor Romney’s tax returns instead of the issues that matter to voters, like putting Americans back to work, fixing the economy and reining in spending,” Rhoades wrote.

MATT VISER

In Mass., Romney will hold high-dollar fund-raisers

WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney is holding several high-dollar fund-raisers in Massachusetts this weekend, expecting to bring in $4.5 million on the Cape and Islands from events with top Republican donors, including fossil fuel magnate and Osterville summer resident William Koch.

Romney will spend much of Saturday raising money, starting with an early lunch event on Martha’s Vineyard and ending with a dinner on Nantucket. In between, Romney will head to Osterville for a reception at the home of Ruth Ann and Bill Carey and a VIP event at the home of Bill and Bridget Koch, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by the Globe.

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Koch — whose better-known brothers, David and Charles, have been major financial backers of the groups supporting the Tea Party movement — has been one of the top contributors to Restore Our Future, the super PAC that supports Romney.

William Koch also helped bankroll the opposition to the Cape Wind energy project.

At each fund-raising stop, there will be several ways to meet Romney. In Osterville, for example, there is a “photo reception” for those who have raised $25,000 per person or contributed $10,000.

After that, there is a reception for those who donate $2,500.

The VIP reception is only for those who have raised or contributed $50,000.

Among those who are hosting the Osterville events are Bill Bain, who founded Bain and Company; Kerry Healey, former lieutenant governor; and Bob Maginn, chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party.

One person involved with the fund-raising said much of the money would come from Massachusetts donors, although some of the events on Nantucket and the Vineyard will feature major donors from New York and Connecticut.

MATT VISER