In 2018, the Sanders paid $65,086 in state and local income taxes and property taxes on two homes in Vermont and one in Washington, D.C.; that deduction is now capped at $10,000 under the new law. They also paid $12,814 in home mortgage interest.
The Sanders gave $18,950 to charity in cash and other gifts in 2018, a little more than half of their $36,300 in giving in 2017. The Sanders gave $10,600 in 2016 but before that, their yearly giving never topped $10,000.
"I wrote a best-selling book," Sanders told The New York Times last week. "If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too."
Sanders's book royalties were larger than many of his 2020 rivals. Elizabeth Warren reported nearly $325,000 in income from her book. Kirsten Gillibrand reported about $50,000 of book deal profits. Since 2016, Sanders has published three books, including "Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In," which he used to launch his last presidential bid.
"Sanders shouldn't feel ashamed for making money," said Morris Pearl, chairman of the Patriotic Millionaires, a group of wealthy individuals that advocates for progressive tax policies. "The system is rigged in our favor and we should do more to correct that."
The senator refused to release his full tax returns when he ran for the nomination against Hillary Clinton in 2016. He's contending again as one of the front-runners, and is attempting to manage the disconnect between his decades of rhetoric about the political power wielded by the wealthy and his own position within that group.
When he ran against Clinton, Sanders released a lone return, from the 2014 tax year. Since then, Sanders has gone from a small-state senator with ideas mostly seen outside the mainstream, to one of the most recognizable politicians in the U.S.
Sanders now joins several other 2020 Democratic hopefuls who have released at least 10 years worth of tax returns, including Senate colleagues Warren, Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar. The release of tax documents has taken on added importance for the Democratic candidates who are drawing a contrast with President Donald Trump, who has refused to release his tax returns despite longstanding practice.
Sanders has several tax proposals that could increase his own liability. In 2016, he campaigned on increasing the top individual tax rate to 52 percent. He also has a plan that would apply the estate tax to individuals worth at least $3.5 million.
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