George Romney, Mitt’s Father, Paid A 37 Percent Effective Tax Rate

George and Mitt Romney, 1964

Mitt Romney yesterday finally admitted that he pays a tax rate of about 15 percent, though he continues to put off releasing his full tax returns. However, when Mitt’s father, George Romney, ran for President in 1968, he released 12 years of tax returns, which revealed that he paid a 37 percent effective tax rate. From the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, November 25, 1967:

Romney became a millionaire on company stock options after he introduced a compact car as president of American Motors Corp. The figures show his adjusted gross income ranged from $661,427.68 when he was president of American Motors Corp. to a low of $78,483.85 last year. The figures indicate he paid $1,099,555.18 in taxes on an income of $2,972,923.58.

These numbers show Romney paying a 36.9 percent effective tax rate (but this was also a time when the top income tax rate was 70 percent). Lee Fang noted that the returns also “showed that George Romney donated 19 percent of his income to church, 4 percent directly to charity, and most surprisingly…that the Michigan governor ‘seldom took advantage of tax loopholes to escape his tax obligations.'”

Romney, meanwhile, is the beneficiary of a huge tax loophole that lets private equity managers like himself pay a lower tax rate on their earnings than millions of middle class families. He has also advocated a tax plan that would cut his own taxes nearly in half, while raising taxes on half of middle class families with children.