South Carolina’s first family’s income has ranged widely – growing to more than $400,000 in 2015 from losses of more than $120,000 in 2000.
During that time, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster and his wife, Peggy, reported about $3.4 million in income. About $1.7 million of that income came from 16 rental properties around the University of South Carolina campus and other businesses, including a beach house on Pawleys Island that the family rents out.
McMaster allowed reporters to review — but not copy — 16 years of tax returns Thursday at the request of The State. The media company requested the McMasters’ tax returns after the state grand jury last week accused another Richland County Republican, state Sen. John Courson, of funneling money to himself through a political consulting firm that also long has advised the governor.
McMaster told The State that he never has received any money personally from the firm, Richard Quinn & Associates, now being looked at as part of an ongoing State House corruption probe.
The tax returns show the McMasters have derived their income from a mix of rental properties, other businesses and wages that McMaster has earned in various jobs.
McMaster was S.C. attorney general from 2003 to early 2011. He was the state’s lieutenant governor from 2015 until January, when he became governor, filling the vacancy left by Nikki Haley’s resignation to join the Trump Administration. McMaster also worked as a fundraiser for his alma mater, the University of South Carolina, from 2011-14.
The McMasters reported adjusted income of $425,685 — after tax deductions — in 2015, up from $121,925 in losses from 2000. The couple’s income ranged widely over the years, exceeding $400,000 for the first time in 2011.
The McMasters tax bills also have gone up through the years.
The couple paid no taxes in 2000 or 2001 – years that McMaster’s law practice, his wife’s boutique and their Columbia rental properties reported losses.
In 2015, the McMasters owed more than $120,000 in taxes – $108,022 in federal taxes and $20,760 in state taxes.
Gov. McMaster’s taxes
Columbia land lord
S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster and his wife, Peggy, slowly have grown their stock of rental properties in Columbia.
▪ In 2011, the McMasters had 11 properties.
▪ In 2015, they had 16.
▪ The couple reported about $1.7 million in income from rental properties from 2000 to 2015.
McMaster joined the payroll of his alma mater in 2011 to raise money for its new law school building.
His USC earnings were:
▪ 2011: $123,419
▪ 2012: $178,107
▪ 2013: $102,991
▪ 2014: $55,350. McMaster quit USC when he was elected lieutenant governor.
The public payroll
Henry McMaster was S.C. attorney general from 2003-11, making from $78,000 to $82,000 a year.
From 2015-January, he was lieutenant governor, making $51,495 in 2015.
As governor, he makes $106,078 a year.