Bushes report $735,180 as adjusted gross income

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WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush and the first lady paid about $187,000 in federal taxes this year on income of about $735,000. Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife made more than 10 times as much, overpaid the tax man and are looking for a $1.9 million refund.

According to the president’s tax return released Friday by the White House, the Bushes had adjusted gross income of $735,180 – about $50,000 less than the year before.

The couple paid $187,768 in federal taxes for last year – about $19,500 less than they paid the Internal Revenue Service for 2004.

Their income included Bush’s presidential salary – about $400,000 – and investment income from trusts that hold their assets.

The Bushes contributed $75,560 – about 10 percent of their income – to churches and charitable organizations. Those included the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army’s funds for hurricane relief in the United States and earthquake aid in Pakistan. They also gave to Martha’s Table, which provides food and services to the underprivileged in the Washington area, the Archdiocese of New Orleans Catholic Charities and the Mississippi Food Network.

The Bushes paid $26,172 in state property taxes on their ranch near Crawford, Texas, up about $4,000 from the year before.

The Cheneys reported adjusted gross income of nearly $8.82 million, a number largely padded with income they received by exercising stock options that had been set aside in 2001 for charity.

The Cheneys donated about $6.87 million to charity from the stock options and royalties earned on Mrs. Cheney’s books: “America: A Patriotic Primer,” “A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women” and “When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots.”

Recipients of their charitable donations included: George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates for the benefit of the Cardiothoracic Institute, the University of Wyoming Foundation and Capital Partners for Education, to benefit low-income high school students in the Washington area.

After subtracting the charitable contributions, the Cheneys’ income was $1.95 million on which they owed $529,636 in taxes, according to a statement released by the vice president’s office.

Since the Cheneys paid $2.46 million in withholding and estimated taxes over the year, they were entitled to a refund of about $1.93 million.

The Cheneys’ income included the vice president’s $205,031 government salary and $211,465 in deferred compensation from Halliburton Co., the Dallas-based energy services firm he headed until Aug. 16, 2000.

Cheney elected in December 1998 to recoup over five years a portion of the money he made in 1999 as chief executive officer of Halliburton. This amount was to be paid in annual installments – with interest – after Cheney’s retirement from Halliburton. The 2005 payment is the last.

The White House has said that the amount of deferred compensation received by the vice president is fixed and is not affected by Halliburton’s current economic performance or earnings.

The Cheneys’ tax return also reports Mrs. Cheney’s royalty income from her book, “A Time for Freedom: What Happened When in America,” salary income from the American Enterprise Institute and a retirement benefit from Reader’s Digest. Mrs. Cheney served on the Reader’s Digest board of directors until retiring in 2003.

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