The McCain household was not immune from the weakening economy, according to tax returns released Friday: Cindy McCain’s income fell by nearly a third last year.
But the family’s considerable investments, estimated at more than $100 million, and a steady flow of salary, dividends, capital gains and interest are probably preventing any economic pain at home.
In 2007, Cindy McCain reported income of $4.2 million and ended the year with the federal government owing her almost $1 million. Instead of asking for a refund, she applied her excess tax payments to next year’s bill. Her federal tax bill for 2007 was $1.1 million.
She was doing considerably better in 2006, when she reported income of $6.1 million. Phoenix’s economy was thriving back then, and so was her family business, a beer distributorship that she inherited from her father. But when that boom began to flatten out, it took a toll on Hensley & Co.
John McCain does not own any part of the family business, according to records at the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control.
McCain and his wife file separate tax returns. In April, McCain made his 2007 return public, showing he had almost no interest income or dividends. He earned a Senate salary of nearly $162,000 and book royalties of $177,000. He also received what his staff called a tax-free disability pension of $58,000 from the Navy.
Under Arizona community property law, the McCains pool their salary and each reports half the total, but their investment income is reported separately. So the two each show salaries of $297,350. In fact, Cindy McCain earned $433,000 as chairwoman of Hensley.
Cindy McCain’s income took hits in a number of other areas. Her taxable interest income dropped from $40,000 to $23,000. Dividends dropped from $283,000 to $118,000. But her capital gains income of $746,000 in 2007 was virtually unchanged from 2006.
Her reduced income in 2007 does not appear to have affected the family’s lifestyle. In February, Cindy McCain purchased a $2.1 million beachfront condo in Coronado, Calif., through her limited liability corporation known as Dream Catcher Family LLC.
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