Tax records show Hubbell's tax payments, not income sources

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell meets with elected officials, officials from the sheriff's office, local
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)
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DES MOINES — Tax documents produced by Fred Hubbell’s campaign show how much he paid in taxes in 2017, but do not reveal the sources of his income.

The campaign produced summary pages of Hubbell’s personal and foundation returns, and did not provide further detail.

Hubbell, the Democratic candidate for Iowa governor and a retired business executive, reported more than $3 million in income in 2017 on his federal tax return. The largest source of income was $1.3 million from stock sales. He also reported roughly $500,000 in wages — from leadership boards on which he sat, his campaign said — and more than $445,000 in business income from business investments, including some real estate, his campaign said.

Hubbell paid more than $530,000 in federal taxes and more than $117,000 in state taxes in 2017, an effective rate of 25.4 percent on his federal taxes and 6.3 percent on his state taxes, the documents show.

He donated $816,926 in 2017 — more than a quarter of his gross income that year — and the Fred and Charlotte Hubbell Foundation donated nearly $460,000 that year.

The release does not reach the level of transparency provided by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, Hubbell’s challenger in November, or by her predecessor, former Gov. Terry Branstad. Reynolds released 10 years of complete tax returns earlier this year.

Campaign spokesman Jeff Link said the documents released are similar to those produced by former Republican Gov. Robert Ray and former Democratic Gov. Chet Culver before he was elected.


“There are a variety of ways to do this,” Link said. “We felt it was appropriate to let (reporters) take a look at his three tax returns for the year that (Hubbell) became a candidate. And he has said that if elected he will release his taxes every year.”

Asked whether it is important for Iowans to know the sources of Hubbell’s $3 million income, Link said, “I don’t know that that’s as important as disclosing how much income you have, how much tax you paid and what percentage of your income that you give to charity.”

The campaign said Hubbell gave the most in 2017 to the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, to help fund scholarships at Simpson College, where he serves as an honorary member of the school’s board of trustees, of which he is a former chairman. But they did not name other organizations or individuals that benefited from Hubbell’s personal or foundation charity.

In 2016, the foundation’s top recipients were $100,000 each to Des Moines Water Works Park and Des Moines Metro Opera, online tax records show.

Reynolds said Hubbell should produce more years’ worth of tax records.

“I released for 10 (years), and I think he should release more,” Reynolds told reporters Thursday in Ames. “What’s he got to hide? I think Iowa taxpayers and Iowans deserve to see that.”

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