House Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill Jr. said yesterday he has a net worth of $181,192.39, consisting largely of three homes he owns.
The Massachusetts Democrat said he was publicly detailing his personal finances now in an effort to "set an example" for House members, who, next week, must all for the first time make public a statement of their financial worth.
O'Neill acknowledged many members were upset about the financial disclosure statements they must file by Monday. He also said a bill on financial disclosure for federal officials had been pulled off the floor this week partly because the timing was bad, coinciding as it did with the period in which members were filing out their disclosure forms.
The requirement for financial disclosure by House members was passed last year as part of new ethics code O'Neill had pushed.
O'Neill also has been criticized in recent news stories for some of his holdings and the handling of some loans.
In his statement, O'Neill declared assets, of $299,864.64 and liabilities of $118,672.25.
House members are required to cover only the period of Oct. 1, 1977 to Dec. 31, 1977 in their statements, but O'Neill said his statement covered his assets and liabilities as of April 1, 1978.
The bulk of O'Neill's assets consists of three residences he owns, including a family home in Cambridge, Mass., A condominium here and a summer home in Harwichport, Mass., O'Neill placed the market value of the condomininum at $92,500, his Cambridge home at $23,500 and his summer home at $98,000 combined with a half acre of land he owns in Chatham, Mass., valued at $22,700, O'Neill's property holdings make up $236,700 of his $299,864.64 in assets.
Mortgages on the real estate account for $117,499.25 of his $118,672.25 in liabilities with a provision for taxes on the unrealized asset appreciation accounting for the rest.
O'Neill holds stock in two companies with a total estimated market value of $975.25. Stock in a company called Cetron, a company founded by a former House member who invented a tape the company sold, he valued at $375. O'Neill owns 500 shares of Cetron. He valued 350 shares of a company called New Idria Mining Stock as being worth $600. O'Neill said he was uncertain as to what the company mined but thought it was mercury.
O'Neill valued a partnership in another stock fund, called the Broadway Capital Fund, as being worth $617.01.
Congressmen were limited to $25,000 in honoraria last year and O'Neill estimated he made about $83,000 from speeches to various groups for the year.
O'Neill said he sold an interest in the Glenside Nursing Home, a Boston mental institution, in 1972 for $108,000. He said he received $50,000 in cash for his interest and receives about $6,000 a year in payments for the rest of the amount.
The nursing home applied for a $1 million apartment project mortgage guarantee from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. News stories reported the application was not acted on for six months, but was approved three weeks after O'Neill added his name as part of the home's board of directors. O'Neill denied that his name influenced the granting of the application.
O'Neill also discussed a loan of $30,000 he was given by a wealthy personal friend, Burton Faulkner, in 1971.O'Neill said he used the money to pay off a bank loan, because the bank was holding as securities stocks he owned and wanted to sell. He then sold the stocks along with other stock and paid back Faulkner, O'Neill said.
O'Neill also said he sold some stock and resigned from the board of the Life of America Insurance Co., to "clear the slate" when he was elected Speaker in December 1976. He valued the insurance stocks at about $7,500 and some bank stock he also sold at about $6,000.
O'Neill's statement of his assets also included about $9,000 in cash, a car, household furnishings and life insurance.
"I may be the poorest man to be speaker in long time," he said.