* The Tribune weighs in on the issue of Sen. Bill Brady not paying income taxes for two years…
As far as we can tell, Brady did nothing illegal or unethical. He took advantage of legitimate tax deductions, credits and exemptions, including the provision designed to help businesses ride out the economic storm. As far as we can tell.
But questions are going to linger as long as everyone has to rely on that three-hour peek at his tax returns. He needs to release the returns. No time limits. No conditions. Get them out there and level with voters. Answer all the questions they raise.
There will be questions. Brady is the Republican nominee for governor. He’s going to be in a robust debate with Gov. Pat Quinn about state taxes. He’s going to be hampered in this debate if folks are left wondering why he didn’t pay taxes.
And Phil Kadner tosses in his two cents…
My idea of fair is that if I’m making $50,000 a year and another guy is making $119,000 a year, he should be paying more than I am in income tax.
What I’m hearing out there is that Brady should’ve paid taxes on his legislative income, regardless of his business losses. He obviously still had money in the bank because he could afford to loan his campaign tons of money over the years.
* But let’s move on from Brady for a bit. Do you remember this story from January about how Gov. Pat Quinn had kept his US Senate campaign account active since 1996?
Quinn has kept the fund alive by pumping in a series of personal loans and then soliciting political donations so he can pay himself back, at interest rates approaching 10 percent.
The end result is that Quinn has made at least $24,000 in interest from the campaign fund he controls, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Now, that’s not a lot of money in interest when stretched out over the years, as I pointed out at the time. And Quinn claims he paid taxes on that interest.
Last April, months before anyone knew about this campaign interest money story, Quinn allowed reporters to take a peek at his 2008 tax returns…
Getting a peek at Gov. Pat Quinn’s taxes isn’t as easy as you might think.
Quinn didn’t make copies of them available today when he released the returns, instead requiring people to make appointments to see them at his Chicago or Springfield offices… Quinn spokesman Bob Reed said in an e-mail that Quinn prefers viewers take notes from his original documents.
Again, since we didn’t know about the interest on his campaign account, it would be tough to see if he paid taxes on that interest.
So, since Quinn has loudly demanded that Brady distribute copies of his tax returns, I’d like to suggest that the governor ought to release all of his own tax returns dating back to the first time he took an interest payment from his campaign account. It’s only fair.