U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon released 2010 tax returns Friday showing that she and her husband, Vincent McMahon, paid $4.7 million in federal taxes on an adjusted gross income of $30.6 million for an effective tax rate of 15.35 percent.

The Greenwich multi-millionaires paid roughly the same rate as a couple earning between $16,750 and $68,000 in wages, because most of the McMahons’ income was from investments, not wages.

A significant exception was Vincent McMahon’s annual salary of $827,520 as the chief executive officer of World Wrestling Entertainment, the publicly traded company based in Stamford.


Under the federal tax code, wages in excess of $375,000 are taxed at a rate of 35 percent, but interest and dividend income is taxable at 15 percent.

In an abrupt reversal, the McMahon campaign relented and released the 2010 federal and state returns after learning that it might be weeks before she would be able to file her 2011 returns, said Tim Murtaugh, her spokesman.

McMahon was adamant during a televised debate Wednesday night that she would release her 2011 returns when they ready, and she was equally firm in a post-debate press conference about not providing the 2010 documents as a substitute.

But Murtaugh said McMahon later learned that tax documents related to two investments might not be available until after the Aug. 14 Republican primary, so she reversed course and released her 2010 returns. She still will release the 2011 returns, he said.

The returns show that the money expended so far on two runs for the U.S. Senate — $50 million in 2010 and $8 million so far in 2012 — is roughly equal to two years’ investment income for the couple.

The McMahons paid $2.1 million in Connecticut state income taxes on an adjusted gross state income of $32.6 million.

They paid household staff $197,481.

Before adjustments, the McMahons had income of $34.6 million, including $2.7 million in tax-exempt interest and $1.36 million in pensions or annuities.

On their federal return, they claimed a foreign tax credit of $10,230 to offset $14,026 in taxes paid in foreign countries on $76,728 in income from investments in those nations. They had total itemized deductions of $3.7 million, but claimed no mortage interest deduction.

They ended up with a hefty refund of $1.5 million.

Murtaugh said the McMahons have a diversified portfolio that includes stock in overseas companies, but they have no off-shore banks accounts.

The McMahons made $122,000 in charitable gifts, which amounted to slightly less than four-tenths of 1 percent of $30.6 million.

Their charitable foundation, the Vince and Linda McMahon Family Foundation, which is funded with money the McMahons donated in previous years, gave away $1.6 million.

The campaign released the foundation’s tax return, which is public information. One of the foundation’s recipients was the Connecticut Basketball Club, an AAU basketball program run by Patrick Sullivan, a Hartford lobbyist who is one of her advisers.

The Mirror has previously detailed the foundation’s giving since the 2010 race, including underwriting an educational special on Connecticut Public Television.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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