SACRAMENTO — California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, reported $1.2 million in adjusted gross income in 2018 and paid nearly 40% of it in federal and state taxes, according to tax returns provided by his office.
It was the first set of tax records that Newsom has shared since he was elected governor in 2018. Shortly before taking office, he promised to release his returns annually. His predecessor, Gov. Jerry Brown, declined to share his tax returns and put out only the statement of economic interests required of every California public official.
Newsom’s office said he was delayed in providing the couple’s 2018 returns because they were granted a six-month filing extension to October. The governor allowed reporters to review a copy but did not publish the returns publicly.
The records do not reflect any changes to Newsom’s wine and entertainment empire since he was elected governor and placed his extensive business holdings in a blind trust.
The $1.2 million that the Newsoms earned in 2018 was slightly less than they have reported in previous years.
More than $812,000 came from their various business investments, including nearly $598,000 from Airelle Wines, which runs Napa wineries.
Newsom opened a San Francisco wine store in 1992, with the financial backing of oil heir and family friend Gordon Getty, and built it into a multimillion-dollar line of wineries, restaurants, hotels and retail stores under the PlumpJack label. As power shutoffs swept Northern California in October, he complained that his businesses were being affected in the middle of harvest season.
The couple also took home about $394,000 in compensation in 2018, including the $131,038 salary for Newsom’s final year as lieutenant governor.
Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker and advocate for gender equity, received $111,600 from her Girls Club Entertainment production company and a $150,000 salary from the Representation Project, the nonprofit she founded to shift how women and girls are portrayed in the media. Royalties from her films and past acting roles netted another $1,168.
The Newsoms paid $358,724 in federal taxes and $121,455 in California taxes in 2018.
They deducted more than $233,000 for qualified business income and personal expenses, including $36,250 in mortgage interest, and took $25,355 in tax credits, including a $1,200 child care credit. The couple, who have four young children, employed a nanny whom they paid $60,000 that year.
They donated $25,683 to charity, about 2% of their adjusted gross income. The governor’s office did not provide the section of their tax returns with more information on those contributions.
It was about a quarter of what the Newsoms have typically given to charity in the past. In 2016, the last tax return that Newsom made available during his campaign, they gave $110,182.
About a month before taking office, Newsom sold stock in tech company Intel, pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts and drug manufacturer Merck that he had held since 2003, earning $7,606 on the sale.
The Newsoms continue to hold onto silver and platinum bars, reporting $899 for storage costs. The couple made hundreds of thousands of dollars trading metal in past years, and rival candidate Antonio Villaraigosa, the former mayor of Los Angeles, mocked Newsom for it during one gubernatorial debate.
Newsom waded last year into the political fight over President Trump’s refusal to release his tax records, signing a bill that would have required presidential and gubernatorial candidates to share their last five years of tax returns to be eligible for primary elections in the state.
“These are extraordinary times and states have a legal and moral duty to do everything in their power to ensure leaders seeking the highest offices meet minimal standards, and to restore public confidence,” Newsom said in a signing statement.
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