Dayton’s tax returns show $384,000 in 2015 earnings

Gov. Mark Dayton, shown in this March 2015 photo, released two years worth of personal income tax records. Tim Pugmire | MPR News

Gov. Mark Dayton returned Thursday to his prior practice of releasing his income tax returns, with last year’s form showing about $384,000 in earnings and about $105,000 in state and federal tax payments.

As a candidate in 2010 and throughout his first term, Dayton routinely released his tax information. He had yet to do so in a second and final term, but took the step as part of a coordinated effort by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to draw attention to such disclosures and Republican rival Donald Trump’s reluctance to release his returns.

“Given that my candidate for president has released her tax returns, I have continued my long-standing practice of releasing my tax returns as well,” Dayton said in a written statement. “As a candidate for president, Mr. Trump has no excuse for not releasing his tax returns. The people of Minnesota and the nation should know how their public leaders earn a living.”

Dayton earned more than $380,000 in both 2014 and 2015. As governor, he makes $127,629 after successive raises the past two years. The bulk of his income came from investments, including capital gains and dividends from accounts established by his late father, Bruce Dayton.

Last year, Dayton paid $73,000 in federal taxes and nearly $33,000 in state taxes, an effective tax rate of 30 percent. Investment earnings are taxed at a lower rate than other income.

Dayton has previously drawn scrutiny for his level of charitable giving. In releasing his returns, he said he made $10,000 in contributions last year but didn’t report them to his tax preparer to claim as itemized deductions. He didn’t disclose the charities that received his gifts.

  • Karen Sandstrom

    It’s good for voters to have this information. Why won’t Donald Trump be open about his tax returns? Conservative or liberal candidates are open. What is wrong with Donald Trump? What is Donald hiding?

    • wjc

      He’s hiding 1) the tax dodges he uses to minimize tax payments, and 2) the fact that he gives almost nothing to charity.

      1) If the tax avoidance is legal then he is entitled to use those strategies, but it looks bad for a presidential candidate to earn a lot and pay no tax.

      2) This is what he is really hiding. If his taxes show him making $250 million (just to pull a number out of the air), and giving only $50,000 to his own charity, that would be stunning for a lot of people.

      The third thing he might be hiding is that he doesn’t make as much money as he leads people to believe.

  • critical thinker

    Oh the irony of a billionaire trust fund baby. He’s too cheap to keep his trust fund in Minnesota. Too cheap to donate to charities. Paying only $33,000 taxes on a trust fund that likely made $10’s of millions. Yet still has the gall to complain about others not paying their fair share.

    • Ralphy

      I take it you don’t understand how a trust fund works. The fund’s management is determined by the entity that set it up. Governor Dayton has no more ability to move the fund or change its portfolio than you do.
      Or, if you do know how a trust fund works, your comment is nothing but trolling.
      Not sure where you pulled Governor Dayron’s tax payments and trust fund earnings from. I have a guess, but I’ll keep it to myself.

      • critical thinker

        Do you get paid to sell your soul and look like Daytons boy toy or does that simply come natural? Learn how to set up a trust fund and then get back to me. Your ignorance is embarrassing.

        • Ralphy

          Might I suggest “The Complete Book of Trusts” by Martin Shenkman. You might learn something. Or not.

      • Karen Sandstrom

        Thanks for your informative comments. One can actually learn from your comments! Please keep participating.