4:34 pm Sep. 21, 20123
Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns this Friday afternoon, the second of two years' worth that he had previously pledged to release.
On the returns, the Romneys listed a total income of $13,709,608 from their investments, on which they paid just under $2 million in taxes for the year.
Romney's effective federal tax rate was 14.1 percent, due to the preferential tax status accorded to income from capital gains over ordinary income. (Ordinary income tax would have been taxed at a top rate of 35 percent.)
Romney donated more than $4 million to charity in 2011, but claimed just $2.25 million in charitable contributions, which "inflated" his tax rate to 14 percent. Romney had previously stated that he paid at least 13 percent in federal taxes in prior years, amid questions about the years for which he has not released returns.
Romney also released a notarized letter from Price Waterhouse Cooper that summarized his taxes for the previous 20 years, saying he paid taxes in all those years, and averaged a 20 percent tax rate, with 13.66 percent being the lowest he paid in that period.
The release, posted on Romney's website, seems at least to disprove the unfounded accusations from Democratic Senate majority leader Harry Reid that Romney hasn't paid taxes for years.
But the returns do point up, once again, the candidate's personal wealth. Democrats made Romney's taxes a focus of the campaign throughout the summer months, highlighting his investments in foreign tax havens, and questioning why he was unwilling to release more returns.
A spokesman for Romney noted on Twitter that more than 105 people in the Chicago area were viewing Romney's website after the returns were posted.