Bushes report net earnings of $771,940

President, first lady pay $268,719 in income taxes

April 12, 2003|By Edwin Chen | Edwin Chen,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WASHINGTON - President Bush and first lady Laura Bush reported a net taxable income of $771,940 for last year and paid $268,719 in federal income taxes, the White House announced yesterday.

Both figures were roughly the same as those of the past two years. The sources of the couple's income were Bush's $400,000 annual salary as president and investments from the trusts in which their assets are held.

They earned $23,947 in dividend income. In his tax-cut proposal before Congress, Bush is seeking to eliminate the taxation of such income.

Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, reported a taxable income of $945,051 and owe $341,114 in federal taxes, the White House said. Their earnings included $490,999 in dividends.

The outlook for abolishing the tax on dividends is uncertain. Many lawmakers - including key Republicans - have expressed qualms about it.

The Bushes contributed $69,925 to churches and charitable organizations, including Southern Methodist University, Mrs. Bush's alma mater, and the Evergreen Chapel at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.

Once again, the Bushes declined to designate $3 each of their tax money to help finance presidential elections.

A year ago, the couple reported a net taxable income of $711,453 for 2001 and paid $250,221 in federal income taxes. Two years ago, they reported a net taxable income of $744,682 for 2000 and paid $240,342 in federal income taxes.

The tax return for the Cheneys was more complicated because of a series of deferred compensation payments from Halliburton Co., the oilfield services company Dick Cheney headed until resigning in 2000 to become Bush's running mate.

According to Cheney's office, the vice president and his wife last year paid $436,972 in taxes through withholding and estimated tax payments. They elected to apply $20,000 of the resulting $95,858 tax overpayment to their 2003 estimated tax payments.

The Cheneys donated $121,983 to charity.

Edwin Chen writes for the Los Angeles Times, a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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