Santorum made $1 Million a year, tax returns show

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum answers questions at a news conference at the statehouse, Feb. 13, 2012, in Olympia, Wash. AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Rick Santorum answers questions at a news conference in Olympia, Wash.
Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum answers questions at a news conference at the statehouse, Feb. 13, 2012, in Olympia, Wash.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum's income rose each successive year that he was out of Congress until he was earning about $1 million a year, according to four years of tax returns that Santorum made public late Wednesday.

In 2007, after he lost his bid for reelection to the Senate, Santorum earned $659,000, mostly from his Washington, D.C.-based consulting business. He made $952,000 in 2008, $1.1 million in 2009 and about $923,000 in 2010. Santorum and his wife, Karen, also made between roughly $42,000 and $45,000 each year from rental properties.

They paid $167,000 in taxes in 2007, about $262,000 in 2008, $310,000 in 2009, and $263,000 in 2010, meaning they paid between 25 and 30 percent of their income to the government each year.

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Santorum said on CNN Wednesday evening that he thinks he paid an effective rate of 25 to 28 percent on his income, and that he decided to release tax forms for every year he was out of public service. "I thought it was important to let people know what I've done since I've been in the private sector," he said.

Santorum is the third 2012 presidential candidate to release tax returns. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich released his 2010 returns, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney made public his 2010 and 2011 returns.

Santorum released the most information of any candidate, and the forms show he paid a higher tax rate than Romney, who paid about 14 percent on mostly unearned income from investments, and a slightly lower rate than Gingrich, who paid about 32 percent in taxes.

Each year, the Santorums gave between $13,000 and $30,000 to charity, with a maximum of $29,882 in 2009. In 2010, he gave $16,289 in charitable donations.

Santorum, who prepares his own taxes, left the campaign trail in late January to prepare them for release. Politico published copies on its website, but other news organizations were not provided copies on Wednesday.

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    Rebecca Kaplan covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.

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