Government

Hubbell's taxes being fast-tracked for release as 'soon as available'

Reynold's campaign launches website calling for opponent to release returns

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell meets with elected officials, officials from the sheriff’s office, local mental health care providers and lobbyists at the Linn County Sheriff’s Office in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, while on a statewide mental health tour. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell meets with elected officials, officials from the sheriff’s office, local mental health care providers and lobbyists at the Linn County Sheriff’s Office in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, while on a statewide mental health tour. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Following the tradition of Iowa gubernatorial candidates, Fred Hubbell plans to release his tax information.

“We’re going to release them as soon as we have them available,” the retired Des Moines businessman said Tuesday in Cedar Rapids. His staff said Hubbell has filed an extension, but his taxes are being “fast-tracked to get them done as soon as possible.”

“Fred always files his taxes later in the period (so) his 2017 taxes aren’t available yet,” spokeswoman Remi Yamamoto said.

In the meantime, Gov. Kim Reynolds’ campaign has launched a website, HubbellTaxReturns.com, featuring a clock counting the days, hours minutes and seconds, pointing out that Hubbell first promised to make his taxes public in May.

“It’s been 84 days since Fred Hubbell said he would release his tax returns,” the website said in all capital letters on Aug. 14. “How many more days will he go?”

Earlier, Yamamoto said the tax information would be released “within the coming weeks.”

Last week, Reynolds and her husband, Kevin, released 10 years of tax returns showing that in 2017 they paid $27,822 in state and federal taxes — a 14.1 percent federal tax rate and 4.7 percent for state taxes.

Her campaign said it expects the same from Hubbell.

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“If Fred Hubbell isn’t willing to commit to an immediate and full release of 10 years of his tax returns, Iowans will be left to ask what he is hiding in his financial past,” Reynolds spokesman Pat Garrett said Tuesday.

Hubbell didn’t commit to releasing his information in the same form as Reynolds and previous candidates.

“There’s a lot of ways people have done their taxes in the past, a lot of governors do it this way or that way,” Hubbell said. “Whatever our current governor does is not necessarily a model for how it should be done. We’ll release the tax information we think needs to be available to people and we will do it as soon as we can.”

In releasing her information, Reynolds cited an Iowa tradition of candidates for governor releasing their tax information. While Republican Terry Branstad began releasing his returns when he first ran for governor in 1982, and others have followed suit, his predecessor, GOP Gov. Robert Ray, released a financial summary when he ran in 1978, but not his returns.

Democratic state Sen. Tom Vilsack released his returns when he ran for governor in 1998, and four years later while running for re-election he called for a state law to require gubernatorial candidates to release tax records and statements of their net worth.

Democrat Chet Culver released his tax information when he ran in 2006 and again in 2010 in his unsuccessful bid for re-election.

In 2014, the Branstad campaign ripped Democratic Sen. Jack Hatch for releasing only his return for the previous rather than matching Branstad’s year-by-year releases.

The Reynolds campaign also pointed to an Iowa Democratic Party news release from May 2016 demanding candidate Donald Trump release his tax returns.

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“Americans deserve to know the truth about Donald Trump’s financial past and tax history,” then Chairwoman Andy McGuire said in that release. “I call on Gov. Branstad to urge Donald Trump to promote transparency and divulge his tax returns immediately.”

Gazette reporter Michaela Ramm contributed to this story

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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