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Giannoulias tax returns show hefty bank income
By John Chase - Chicago Tribune
State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias has made millions of dollars from his family’s community bank since his election in 2006, much of it from payouts related to his father’s death, according to four years of tax returns he released Wednesday.
Giannoulias saw his gross income drop precipitously last year as Broadway Bank struggled financially. In 2008 he reported making $361,000; for the three preceding years, he reported income of at least $1.3 million annually.
Giannoulias, a Democrat running in the primary for U.S. Senate, released his tax returns the day before the Thanksgiving holiday, when fewer people are likely to be paying attention to the news. The first-term treasurer has been criticized by Democratic Senate opponent David Hoffman for large Broadway Bank payouts to him and his family.
In all, there were $70 million in payouts in 2007 and 2008. Giannoulias’ campaign said the payouts were was triggered by the 2006 death of Giannoulias’ father, Alexis, who founded Broadway Bank. His will called for estate and income taxes to be paid for with dividend payments from the sale of Broadway shares, the campaign said.
Alexi Giannoulias’ portion of those payouts totaled $2.5 million — $1 million of which he has said went to pay income taxes. The campaign has noted that Alexi Giannoulias didn’t have a say in whether to sell the shares because he divested himself of his voting shares when he was elected treasurer.
Giannoulias, who is 33 and single, owned 3.65 percent of shares in Broadway Bank before he was elected treasurer in 2006, according to the tax returns. The sale of the voting shares constituted a fraction of that ownership interest, and Giannoulias still owns 3.61 percent of shares in the bank.
Giannoulias made $1.34 million in 2005, $1.82 million in 2006, $1.99 million in 2007 and $361,000 last year — nearly all of it from his ownership interest in Broadway Bank, the returns show.
Giannoulias’ bank salary was $112,000 in 2005 but dropped to $41,000 in 2006 when he left the bank to campaign. He made about $101,570 from his treasurer’s salary in 2007 and about $116,590 in 2008.
Over those four years, the reports show, he paid nearly $1.8 million in taxes to the federal government.
He also received additional payouts from the bank totaling about $1 million in 2005 and 2006.
Campaign spokeswoman Kati Phillips said Giannoulias’ drop in income in 2008 is a direct result of the struggling economy and performance at Broadway Bank, where two of Giannoulias’ brothers still work.
The returns showed charitable donations of $9,000 in 2005, $23,600 in 2007 and $5,000 in 2008.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune
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