Capitol Alert

Kamala Harris, husband release 2015 tax returns; Loretta Sanchez declines

Attorney General Kamala Harris, candidate for U.S. Senate, speaks at a news conference in Los Angeles.
Attorney General Kamala Harris, candidate for U.S. Senate, speaks at a news conference in Los Angeles. AP

U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris and her husband, attorney Douglas Emhoff, earned nearly $1.17 million in 2015 and paid almost $450,000 in state and federal income taxes, according to their 2015 tax returns.

The Sacramento Bee asked Harris and her opponent, Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez of Orange County, to provide copies of their 2015 returns as part of a longstanding practice of reviewing candidates’ financial records in major statewide races. Sanchez’s campaign has declined.

The veteran congresswoman said through spokesman Luis Vizcaino on Monday that she has already provided the Orange County Register her tax returns “per a previous commitment made.”

That agreement was never mentioned to The Bee, which has been asking Sanchez and her campaign for the return since Sept. 13. Vizcaino several times has indicated he planned to provide Sanchez’s return. The Register has not published any information about the returns.

Sanchez, who earns $174,000 a year as a U.S. representative, is married to attorney Jack Einwechter. They did not report his earnings on Sanchez’s annual financial disclosure statement.

Harris, the state attorney general, and Emhoff, a partner at Venable, where he oversees the firm’s offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, paid $371,954 in federal income taxes and $76,369 in state income taxes, after receiving a $35,952 credit for taxes paid to other states where the law firm is active.

She and Emhoff contributed $32,947 to charity, including $10,000 to UNICEF, the global humanitarian agency that works on behalf of children; $1,250 to University of Southern California, where Emhoff attended law school; $1,000 to the national nonprofit College Track and $100 to CASA of Los Angeles.

Their effective tax rate was 32 percent on the federal return and close to 40 percent combined.

The federal burden includes $43,843 in self-employment taxes, payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security. Subtracting that figure, and using the couple’s adjusted gross income of $1.17 million, their effective tax rate was 28 percent federally, and 35 percent combined.

Harris’ return, the second joint filing since she and Emhoff wed August 2014 in Santa Barbara, show they predominantly derived their income from wages, which are taxed at higher rates than investments. Harris currently makes $158,775 annually, a salary established by an independent state panel.

It also shows the pair paid $1,239 for the mental health services tax, the 1 percent Proposition 63 levy on personal income over $1 million.

Harris has led the field in every public poll since launching her bid to replace Sen. Barbara Boxer in January 2015.

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago