Maryland gubernatorial candidate James L. Shea and his running mate, Baltimore City Council member Brandon M. Scott, released their federal and state tax returns Friday, becoming the first gubernatorial ticket to jointly make their financial records public.
Shea is the second Democratic gubernatorial candidate to release his returns.
State Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. posted six years of tax returns on his website in April and called on all other candidates to do the same.
Shea, an attorney and former chairman of Venable, one of the state’s most prominent law firms, released returns from 2012 to 2016, which were filed jointly with his wife, Barbara B. Shea. The couple filed an extension for their 2017 tax return.
“We are committed to transparency, both in this campaign and in the Governor’s Office,” Shea said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen in Donald Trump the dangers of executive elected officials who refuse to release their tax returns or disclose their business dealings. Councilman Scott and I are committed to raising the bar for transparency in Maryland.”
According to Shea’s 2016 federal tax return, his total income was $2,803,761. He paid $912,255 in federal taxes. The same year, he overpaid $44,711 in state taxes, which was applied to his 2017 tax bill.
Shea and his wife paid $699,752 in Maryland and local taxes and $4,048,185 in federal taxes from 2012 to 2016, according to his campaign. During that period, he gave nearly $956,000 to charity.
Scott’s return, which he prepared himself, shows he earned $64,883 in 2017. He paid $10,360 in federal taxes and received a refund of $1,402.
Tech entrepreneur Alec Ross and former NAACP president Ben Jealous have each said through spokesmen that they plan to release their tax documents. A spokeswoman for Krishanti Vignarajah, a lawyer and former policy director for Michelle Obama, called the release of tax forms “an election stunt” but said Vignarajah would be “more than willing to make a similar release when all the other candidates do, as well.”
A campaign spokesman for Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz (D) indicated that Kamenetz does not plan to release his tax returns. He said that the candidate’s public financial disclosures, which he files annually as an elected official, “speak for themselves.” Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) took the same position during a recent radio interview.
A campaign spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who will face the winner of the June 26 Democratic primary, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Shea called on his fellow candidates to release their returns. He argued that “public financial disclosures are not enough. President Trump also claimed that his financial disclosures were a satisfactory substitute for his tax returns. The fact is, they do not ensure the same level of accountability.”