JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The November election is less than two months away, and up to this point, neither of Missouri’s two candidates from the major political parties have answered whether they would release their personal tax returns.
Both U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley have received requests for their tax returns. Hawley’s campaign has asked if McCaskill would be releasing hers, while her office has remained silent on the issue.
That all changed late Wednesday morning.
In an email issued at 10:30 a.m., Hawley’s campaign announced that they would hold a conference call regarding the release of tax returns at 12:12 p.m.
One hour later, McCaskill released two pages of her 2017 tax returns, which can be viewed here.
According to her return, McCaskill reported a $174,000 salary as a member of the Senate, along with $85,521 from pensions and annuities. She received a refund of $9,337.
Hawley that afternoon released his tax returns, nearly 60 pages worth of documents, and said that McCaskill had released “a very limited view of her tax returns” and refused to release that of her husband. Hawley’s wife, Erin, files jointly with the Attorney General.
“My wife Erin and I are releasing our tax returns today. Transparency doesn’t mean anything in D.C. – but it does in Missouri. That’s why Erin and I are releasing our tax returns. I am calling on Senator McCaskill and her husband to release theirs, too,” Hawley said in a statement. “We know Senator McCaskill’s campaign is bought and paid for by Hollywood and Washington liberals. Missourians deserve to see how she and her husband have personally profited as a result of being their Senator. Missouri needs to know who is paying for her plane, how they are benefiting from her husband’s $131 million in taxpayer subsidies, and how much they aren’t paying in taxes for their offshore investments and hedge funds. All of this can be figured out from her tax returns.”
Hawley said McCaskill was “running her family’s finances like a dark money campaign.”
“It’s time for Senator McCaskill to come clean, and show Missouri who is paying. Missouri is the Show-Me State and it’s high time Senator McCaskill showed us who is paying the freight for her lavish lifestyle.”
For voters, tax returns can be an interesting tidbit, as it deals with a candidate’s transparency. Several studies or surveys have shown a majority of voters favor the releasing of tax returns from statewide politicians.
It was an extremely contentious point during the last gubernatorial race in Missouri, with Democratic candidate Chris Koster releasing his tax return and hammering then-Republican candidate and now-former-Gov. Eric Greitens for not releasing his.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.