Candidate for the US Senate Sarah Godlewski has raised a property tax, arguing that her own tax rate is lower than that of her parents, a couple of public school teachers.
But we had no idea how low Godlewski’s tax rate was in Wisconsin.
As deep as it can go – zero.
U.S. State Department records show that Godlewski, a Democrat who was elected treasurer of the state in 2018, did not owe or pay state income taxes in 2017 and 2018.
And she and her husband, investor Max Duckworth, paid the state of Wisconsin just $ 1,111 in income tax in 2019, despite deducting a salary of $ 72,551 that year as a state tax regulator. She still has to submit her tax return for the past year.
Just last week Godlewski reported that, according to a. Have assets valued at $ 23.9 million to $ 60 million Journal Sentinel Analysis. Their holdings include seven rental properties, including a Washington, DC condominium that they purchased for $ 1.2 million in 2017.
Godlewski didn’t break any rules by not paying state income taxes. She was able to reduce her tax burden to zero through extensive donations, government business development loans and venture investments in new companies that were not yet profitable.
One of the other Democratic candidates in the running for the US Sen. Ron Johnson’s Seat said Godlewski’s situation pointed to a fundamental flaw in the tax system. Johnson, a Republican, has yet to say whether he will run for a third term.
“It seems wrong that a tax law rewards wealth instead of work when millionaires new to the state pay nothing while Wisconsin workers do their fair share,” said Irene Lin, Spokesman for the Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, who paid an average of $ 5,888 to the state over the past 10 years.
“As one of the few non-millionaires running for the US Senate, Tom Nelson can be trusted to ensure that millionaires and Wall Street don’t profit at the expense of working families.”
Godlewski demands wealth tax
In a statement, Godlewski agreed that the system is broken when billionaires like Jeff Bezos pay a lower tax rate than their parents.
“I will correct this injustice as the next Senator from Wisconsin with a wealth tax and take back the Trump-Johnson tax gifts to the rich and corporations,” said Godlewski. “The only way to empower working-class families, middle classes, small businesses and family farmers is for those who have more – like me and my family – to pay more taxes.”
Godlewski specifically called for the property tax, an idea put forward by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in a July 20 column in the Cap timeseven though she has been a critic of the tax system for years. Johnson recently slandered Godlewski as Warren’s “ideological doppelganger” for her wealth tax push.
Godlewski, 39, is not the first Wisconsin candidate to have waived state income taxes in the past. The subject had already proven to be detrimental – perhaps even fatal – to candidates for the US Senate on two occasions.
Republican candidate Terrace wall dropped out of the 2010 competition after it was revealed he had not paid income tax for nine of the last 10 years. Even car dealers with deep pockets Russ Darrow lost the GOP area code in 2004 just weeks after it was reported that he had a zero on his state tax return two years earlier.
In this election, Godlewski’s low tax burden is in stark contrast to the other two multimillionaires in the competition.
Taxes paid by millionaires Lasry, Battino
Milwaukee Bucks Manager Alex Lasry, the son of a billionaire hedge fund manager, has paid an average of $ 47,278 in income tax annually since moving to Wisconsin in 2014. His personal finance statement shows he made about $ 300,000 at the Bucks last year.
In 2018, Lasry paid the state more than $ 100,000 in income taxes, its highest amount to Wisconsin. His campaign said he sold an unspecified asset that generated additional revenue that year.
Lasry is also worth a good deal more than Godlewski.
More: Bice: Senate candidate Alex Lasry’s noble roots include elite schools, Michael Jackson’s house, over $ 50 million in trust
According to its filing with the U.S. Senate, it listed assets between $ 100 million and $ 273.1 million. This included holdings worth at least $ 60.9 million to $ 80.7 million that he owns in full. (Both numbers could be much higher since they contain at least $ 50 million in Milwaukee Bucks stock.) He’s also an investor in family and business partnerships between $ 39.1 million and $ 192.4 million .
The third millionaire in the competition, radiologist Wausau Gillian Battino, has paid the state more per year for the past 10 years than Lasry or Godlewski, despite being less wealthy.
As of 2011, Battino has paid an average of $ 50,450 in state income taxes, with her payments ranging from $ 39,000 to $ 59,000. In total, she has transferred more than half a million dollars to the state government in the past decade.
On her filing with the U.S. Senate, Battino reported that she had an income of $ 303,600 last year Marshfield Clinic and had total assets between $ 3.7 million and $ 10.9 million.
Battino, reached this week, expressed doubts that Godlewski would fix the current tax system.
“The fact that Treasurer Godlewski and her husband, like many ultra-rich people, have paid just $ 1,111 over the past three years on a net worth of $ 24 million to $ 60 million is a prime example of our tax problems.” Battino said by email.
“Of course, it’s hard to imagine that someone who has benefited so spectacularly from the problem will actually address the problem, let alone fix it.”
Godlewski first paid an income tax in Wisconsin in 2016 when she was serving as assistant political director for the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clintons Swing campaign this fall. Although Godlewski is responsible for women’s outreach for the campaign, she has admitted that she didn’t vote in November.
State records show she raised $ 541 in Wisconsin income taxes while receiving $ 8,337 for four months of work from the Wisconsin Democratic Party’s federal account.
Godlewski paid no state income taxes in 2017 and 2018. During her 2018 campaign, she ran as a small business owner who watched over every penny and penny with her company. MaSa partner, a business incubator that she founded with her husband.
“When it comes to financing, you have to check everything again – even the little things,” said Godlewski in a 2018 campaign advertisement for the treasurer’s race. “I do that for my small business.”
According to their campaign, Godlewski and her husband, who filed a joint application, had a 2018 state income tax bill of $ 15,068 before deductions and credits.
She then received $ 8,017 in individual prints, based in part on her $ 61,748 in charitable donations. As a result of their business investment in Wisconsin, there was $ 6,526 in tax credits from Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Godlewski then requested a $ 300 school tax credit and a married couple credit of $ 225, which ruined her tax bill.
It’s not that she and her husband don’t pay taxes.
Her campaign provided the Journal Sentinel with a copy of the 1040 form for her 2019 federal taxes. It found the couple had taxable income of $ 367,855 that year and paid $ 55,321 in federal taxes. This corresponds to an effective tax rate of 15%.
Godlewski wasn’t always that rich. Just a few years ago, she complained that she had a total of $ 75,000 in student loan debt from undergraduate and graduate schools, some with interest rates as high as 9%.
However, her situation changed significantly when she married Duckworth, a former Fortune 500 executive, in 2014.
The two met while volunteering as board members of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). Their campaign said the couple donated $ 144,000 to UNICEF and its partners from 2016 to 2019.
Now she has the funds to pour $ 45,000 into her campaign for the U.S. Senate and gives her a megaphone to ask for higher taxes on the rich and powerful.
Including those who pay nothing at all.
Erin Caughey of the Journal Sentinel team contributed to this report.
Daniel Bice at (414) 313-6684 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @DanielBice or on Facebook at fb.me/daniel.bice.
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