New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made his annual tax return public this week, but Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s office says he won’t be doing the same with his.
“Governor Chafee has traditionally kept his personal tax returns private and will not break that precedent now,” spokesman Christian Vareika told WPRI.com in an e-mail.
In declining to do so, Chafee is following the same policy as his Republican predecessor, Don Carcieri, who also refused to release his tax return when he was governor.
Chafee and his wife, Stephanie, are known to have a large fortune even if its size is shielded from public view. Last fall, Stephanie Chafee told The Associated Press she did not know the bottom-line number herself.
The couple’s net worth was at least $38 million in 2006, according to the final financial disclosure form Lincoln Chafee filed as a U.S. Senator. He was the 7th-richest member of the Senate that year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
A more recent snapshot of Chafee’s finances – his 2009 Rhode Island Ethics Commission disclosure form – offered only limited insight into his family’s means because it excludes his wife’s income.
The form disclosed a blind trust in Stephanie Chafee’s name that holds shares of A.H. Belo, AT&T, Bank of America, BP, Exxon Mobil, Textron and other corporations. Additional trusts control the couple’s properties in Exeter and Providence as well as Franconia, N.H.; Harrisville, N.H.; and Sorrento, Maine.
Chafee’s solo sources of wage income in 2009 were $50,001 to $100,000 from a Ukrainian nonprofit and $25,001 to $50,000 from Brown University for his job as a Watson Fellow. He also got $1,000 or less for appearing on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” and earned interest from accounts at Citizens Bank and Centreville Savings.
As for New York’s Cuomo, his federal tax return showed adjusted gross income of $148,609. His tax bills were $25,369 from the federal government and $18,631 from the state and New York City, according to the Daily News.