Mr. and Mrs. Clinton take 'pretty good lick' in taxes Mrs. Clinton the main breadwinner

April 16, 1993|By Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON -- President Clinton joined millions of other Americans in owing the IRS money this year -- largely because of his wife's $203,172 law firm earnings -- while Vice President Al Gore found national campaigning a boon to the sales of his book, which produced almost $500,000 in royalties last year, according to tax returns made public yesterday.

Although Mr. Clinton -- who as Arkansas governor was the nation's lowest-paid state chief executive -- earned only $34,527 in 1992, he and Hillary Rodham Clinton reported an adjusted gross income of $290,697. Ironically, Mrs. Clinton, who has severed her law firm ties, will earn no salary this year, while her husband's income will leap to $200,000.

Mrs. Clinton did very little legal work last year, having taken much of 1992 off to campaign for her husband's election. However, under her partnership agreement with Little Rock's Rose Law Firm, she received a share of the firm's income based on the average of her last five years' work.

The arrangement followed "the way the firm has done it for 22 years," White House deputy communications director Ricki Seidman said. Because the firm had a good year, Mrs. Clinton earned $14,625 more in 1992 than she had in 1991, the couple's tax return showed.

In addition, Mrs. Clinton received $32,400 in directors fees from various corporate boards on which she sat and $13,199 from the sale of her interest in the building that houses her former firm, the returns showed. The rest of the couple's income came from interest and dividends on several small investments.

The Clintons owed $70,228 in federal income taxes and sent the IRS a check for $4,085 along with this year's return. "Took a pretty good lick," Mr. Clinton said when asked about the amount he owed.

Meanwhile, the lower half of the ticket had a very good 1992, indeed.

Mr. Gore's book, "Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit," already had made some best seller lists before Mr. Clinton tapped him to be his running mate.

But writing a best seller and running for national office, appears to be a potent combination. Mr. Gore's book netted him $461,529 in 1992 royalties after paying expenses. The vast majority of those sales came after his nomination, press secretary Marla Romash said.

The Clintons donated $19,452 to charity, 6.5 percent of their total income. The largest set of donations were $10,220 to unspecified churches. They donated $1,500 to the Arkansas Children's Hospital, $2,000 to the National Center on Education and the Economy, a non-profit think tank, and gave smaller gifts to miscellaneous charities, such as Yale Law School, where the two met while students.

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