SC Gov. Haley’s earnings boosted by real estate income

07/09/2014 10:02 PM

07/29/2014 8:05 PM

Despite a drop in their taxable wages, Gov. Nikki Haley and her husband earned a little more last year due to a spike in income from their real estate investments, according to income-tax records released Wednesday.

South Carolina’s first couple earned $67,000 less in wages in 2013. That 39 percent drop was because the Haleys did not not have to declare much of Michael Haley’s tax-free salary from his military deployment to Afghanistan for most of 2013.

But the couple’s total taxable earnings still were $330 more than in 2012, a total of $284,556 in 2013.

That was because the Haleys collected $70,506 in investment income on real estate last year, up from $3,833 in 2012. One investment involves the governor’s father and another is outside the family, said a Haley spokesman, who did not provide any more details.

Haley earns $106,000 a year as governor.

The Haleys also collected $105,000 last year from the final installment of the $500,000 advance for the governor’s 2012 memoir, “Can’t Is Not an Option.”

Haley pledged to give her book profits to charity. And, in 2013, the couple gave $126,000 to charity, accounting for 44 percent of their taxable earnings.

The bulk, $80,000, went to the governor’s Original Six Foundation, which works to improve rural communities in the state. They also gave $20,000 each to their church in Lexington, Mount Horeb United Methodist Church, and the Sikh Religious Society, where the governor’s father has been president.

The copies of the Haleys’ 2013 federal and state income-tax returns shown to reporters Wednesday were dated July 1 and prepared by a California accountant, who has contributed $2,500 to the governor’s re-election bid, according to State Ethics Commission records.

A Haley spokesman said the July 1 date reflected when the accountant made copies of the returns to be shown to reporters.

The couple filed their original returns on April 11, a Haley spokesman said. The Haleys had to file amended returns in late May because of an error in Michael Haley’s W-2 statement from an arm of the Defense Department, according to explanations on the returns.

Before Nikki Haley became governor, the Haleys filed their taxes late some years.

The couple paid $20,691 in federal and state taxes last year. They are due $5,825 in refunds, according to the returns. Like they have in past years, the Haleys plan to apply their refunds to the following year’s taxes.

Gov. Haley, R-Lexington, did not have as much taxable income last year as her main rival in the November election, Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen of Camden.

The Camden attorney made $333,042 last year, up nearly 50 percent from 2012. His earnings rose because of fluctuations in his law practice, said a state Democratic Party spokeswoman who did not provide details.

Sheheen gave $19,386 to charity, 6 percent of his total earnings.

Both gubernatorial candidates’ bottom lines have more than quadrupled since they entered the State House.

The Haleys earned $65,704 in 2004, when Nikki Haley first won a seat in the S.C. House. Haley was working at her parents’ clothing clothing company at the time.

Sheheen made $73,461 when he was elected to the Legislature in 2000.

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