POLITICS

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and wife raise eyebrows with $104 federal income tax bill, $19K refund

Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Texas Governor Greg Abbott  (AP)

They earned a combined $131,251 in income last year, and paid what in federal income tax?

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott and Lone Star First Lady Cecilia Abbott, who is Mexican-American, paid a remarkable $104 in federal income taxes for 2014, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The Chronicle examined a copy of the couple's 2014 tax return, on which they claimed $102,249 in deductions relating to $4,495 in charity donations, property taxes and mortgage interest on their home, which is valued at about $1 million.

Helping get them to the $104 bill was an additional $11,850 in exemptions. The return also claims that the federal government owes the Abbotts  a refund for the year of more than $19,000.

Abbott got the bulk of his income from his time as Texas attorney general.

The newspaper noted that the reported income does not include more than $100,000 the state official receives annually for a court settlement over a falling tree that paralyzed him in 1986.

In a news release, Abbott claimed a 40 percent "combined local, state and federal tax burden," but about 97 percent of that was property tax.

The reaction on the Internet was mixed.

On a website called TexAgs, one person wrote: “I don't fault Greg Abbott. He is playing by the rules to his benefit. Good for him. But a system that allows this must be changed.”

Another wrote: “America: Where you can earn over 3 times what most Americans do yet pay less than pretty much everyone.”

And yet another said: “So, do you think it's not ‘fair’ that they get to deduct the same things everyone else deducts? I'm assuming that the property taxes on a million dollar home are in the $30,000 to $40,000 range. Interest could be anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars, almost $5,000 in charitable donations. They probably paid closer to 27 percent in taxes when you consider their property tax. I see no problem with this. Now, if we were to go to a flat tax or a consumption tax, then we could get rid of this ‘unfairness.’”

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