NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, the Republican-endorsed candidate for Connecticut's open U.S. Senate seat, on Friday released tax returns showing she and her husband earned $30.6 million in 2010.
The returns, which were provided to The Associated Press, show the vast majority of the income for McMahon and her husband Vince, the CEO and president of WWE, formerly World Wrestling Entertainment, came from stock dividends. The Greenwich couple paid $4.7 million in federal taxes.
Campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said McMahon intends to release her 2011 returns, but they have been held up by two missing documents pertaining to investment income. He said they may not be available before the Aug. 14 primary, in which McMahon faces a challenge by former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays.
"We've elected to release the 2010 returns in the meantime," Murtaugh said. "We are doing this because we have been frustrated in our attempts to complete the 2011 (returns)."
Murtaugh said the 2011 returns are not expected to differ greatly from the 2010 returns.
McMahon was asked about the tax returns during her final debate Wednesday night with Shays. The Connecticut Democratic Party has made the returns an issue, creating a website to track how long it will take the Republican to release the 2011 returns.
"When it's done, we'll release them," she told reporters Wednesday, adding that she and her husband had received an extension with the IRS because they are still awaiting information that they have "no control" over. At the time, she would not commit to releasing her 2010 returns.
McMahon has not provided a date for when the 2011 returns will be ready, which drew criticism from Shays. He said Wednesday that not providing a timeframe for when the tax returns will be released "calls into question her integrity."
"She has control over that," said Shays, who has released his 2011 returns to the media. "The fact she won't tell you when is what's surprising."
McMahon and her husband earned the bulk of their 2010 money, $29.6 million, from stock dividends. Much of their income was taxed at 15 percent, the taxation rate for dividends. Murtaugh said McMahon personally would be willing to pay more in taxes, but that rates shouldn't be changed until the nation's economy rebounds.
"Right now, raising taxes on anybody is the dumbest idea anybody could think of," he said.
The two Democratic candidates vying for the U.S. Senate seat both seized on McMahon's earnings.
Jonathan Ducote, the campaign manager for former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, said McMahon "won't stand up to Wall Street because she profits from their tax-advantaged privileges." And Ben Marter, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, said the returns "certainly helps explain why McMahon is pushing her tax plan so hard. She stands to benefit ten times what the average Connecticut household would."
A message was left seeking comment with Shays' campaign.
Besides the dividend income, the 2010 returns show the couple earned $827,520 in wages and salaries. Most of that includes Vince McMahon's salary at WWE. Murtaugh said Linda McMahon earned $155,000 for her involvement in a movie production venture with her son and daughter-in-law.
The returns also show the McMahons made $122,410 in charitable gifts, in addition to the $1.6 million the couple's charitable foundation gave to groups ranging from the Make A Wish Foundation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
The McMahons have a wide range of investments. According to Linda McMahon's federal financial disclosure report, the couple is investing in hundreds of companies and mutual funds. The 2010 tax returns show they earned at least $76,728 from foreign investments and paid $14,056 in taxes to those foreign companies, an amount that was credited against their U.S. tax obligation.
McMahon is running for the seat currently held by U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent who is not seeking re-election.
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