Mitt Romney at 3:00 PM ET today released his 2011 tax return, all 379 pages, and declared that he donated $1.1 million to the Mormon Church — The Church of Latter Day Saints, and $1,15,484, to be specific.
Note: This is a minimum number. Stay tuned as we crawl through the 379-page document, which, by the way, seems to place most of Romney’s income from foreign investments.
The Mormon Church (LDS), while it no doubt does excellent charity work, also was the primary supporter of California’s Proposition 8, which we now know was an unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage in the Golden State. The Mormons, or the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) worked tirelessly to pass the constitutional amendment in 2008, and, as many believe, is also the primary funder of NOM, the National Organization For Marriage.
The LDS Church leadership urged all Mormons to “do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time.”
“Local church leaders set organizational and monetary goals for their membership—sometimes quite specific—to fulfill this call,” notes Wikipedia:
The response of church members to their leadership’s appeals to donate money and volunteer time was very supportive, such that Latter-day Saints provided a significant source for financial donations in support of the proposition, both inside and outside the State of California. About 45% of out-of-state contributions to ProtectMarriage.com came from Utah, over three times more than any other state. ProtectMarriage, the official proponent of Proposition 8, estimates that about half the donations they received came from Mormon sources, and that LDS church members made up somewhere between 80% and 90% of the volunteers for early door-to-door canvassing. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints produced and broadcast to its congregations a program describing the support of the Proposition, and describing the timeline it proposes for what it describes as grassroots efforts to support the Proposition.
Mitt Romney did not declare all his charitable deductions — effectively paying more in taxes than required, and effectively disqualifying him from holding the office of president, per his own words — so we don’t know to what other charities he donated another estimated $2 million.
Via the Romney campaign:
- In 2011, the Romneys paid $1,935,708 in taxes on $13,696,951 in mostly investment income.
- The Romneys’ effective tax rate for 2011 was 14.1%.
- The Romneys donated $4,020,772 to charity in 2011, amounting to nearly 30% of their income.
- The Romneys claimed a deduction for $2.25 million of those charitable contributions.
- The Romneys’ generous charitable donations in 2011 would have significantly reduced their tax obligation for the year. The Romneys thus limited their deduction of charitable contributions to conform to the Governor’s statement in August, based upon the January estimate of income, that he paid at least 13% in income taxes in each of the last 10 years.
And via Think Progress:
I don’t pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president. I’d think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires.
If Romney had taken all of the deductions available to him under the tax code, he would have paid closer to a 9 percent tax rate in 2011. In attempting to match up his tax rate with his prior statement, Romney is paying more in taxes — and by his very own standard — disqualifying himself from the presidency. It’s worth noting that under Romney’s tax plan, he would cut his own rates even further, and would have paid little to no taxes under Paul Ryan’s 2010 budget, which would have eliminated the capital gains tax.
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