State Sen. Vincent Sheheen released his tax returns from this past year on Monday. Now he’s calling on his opponent Gov. Nikki Haley to do the same.
“I’ve always maintained that, if we really want to have ethical government, we must first have ethical leaders,” Sheheen told several reporters Monday. “So I have now released 14 years of my tax returns and call on Governor Haley to do the same.”
Sheheen’s total income last year was $333,000, a 48 percent increase than the roughly $225,000 he reported in 2012. Most of Sheheen’s reported income (about $285,000) came from his law firm, with the rest in his legislator pay and a real estate investment company he operates. He paid just shy of $80,000 in federal income tax and over $10,000 in state tax.
Haley’s campaign has not yet released the governor’s 2013 tax returns, although spokesman Rob Godfrey said they would before the end of the summer. Haley’s 2012 returns reported more than $284,000 in income, most of which came from her salary and book sales.
Sheheen attacked Haley repeatedly during Monday’s announcement, saying the governor had been getting much of her money through government sources — particularly her job as governor and as a fundraiser for the county-owned Lexington Medical Center.
“My income comes from hard work in the private sector,” Sheheen said.
Haley’s camp has repeatedly noted Sheheen often represents clients before the state-run Workers Compensation Commission (appointed by legislators), but tax forms don’t show the specifics of how the senator’s law firm income breaks down.
“This is just a stunt by Vince Sheheen,” Haley’s campaign spokesman Rob Godfrey said in an email. “We will know Vince is serious when he stops hiding the details of the income he’s received as a trial lawyer defending violent criminals, drug dealers, and child predators, and when he stops voting against ethics reforms that require legislators to disclose their income.”
Sheheen said legal ethics do not allow him to disclose his list of clients and what they paid.