Romney Says His Tax Rate Is 'Closer to 15%'

Most of his income taxed as 'capital gains'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2012 1:36 PM CST
Romney Says His Tax Rate Is 'Closer to 15%'
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at the Florence Civic Center in Florence, S.C., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Mitt Romney has been evasive about releasing his tax returns, and today he hinted at why, saying in a press conference that his effective tax rate is "probably closer to the 15% rate than anything." That means that most of Romney's earnings—which largely still stem from his time at Bain Capital—are being taxed at the 15% capital gains rate, instead of at the 35% rate they'd be taxed at as normal earnings, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Democrats have been trying to eliminate the "carried interest" loophole that allows such income to be taxed at the lower rate, but have been thwarted by fierce lobbying campaigns. Romney did say that he doesn't favor eliminating the capital gains tax entirely—as Newt Gingrich does—because that "would provide for people of very high income a possibility of no tax at all." Click to find out when Romney says he will finally release his tax returns (probably).

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