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Gov.-elect Youngkin made $127 million over five years, campaign says

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) after speaking to supporters at an election-eve rally.
Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) after speaking to supporters at an election-eve rally. (Salwan Georges)

RICHMOND — Virginians already knew Glenn Youngkin was enormously wealthy when they elected him governor, but now, the governor-elect is offering a peek at how he got that way.

Youngkin’s campaign released summaries of his recent income tax returns, which indicate the former private equity executive made $39.8 million last year, more than $14 million of that in capital gains income. He also gave nearly $15 million to charity and paid about $6.8 million in federal income taxes.

Although Virginia law does not require gubernatorial candidates to release their tax returns, Youngkin and Democratic challenger Terry McAuliffe said they would provide summaries before Election Day. Neither did so.

Days after Youngkin’s win, his campaign offered The Washington Post a summary covering the past five tax years. It indicates he made $127 million over that period, $59 million of that in capital gains. He gave $52.6 million to charity and paid nearly $18 million in taxes.

The campaign declined to provide copies of his actual tax filings or disclose the recipients of his charitable giving. Some of his charitable donations have been publicly disclosed elsewhere, however.

Youngkin and his wife, Suzanne, gave about $23 million between 2016 and 2018 to the Phos Foundation, a religious nonprofit they founded and direct from their Great Falls home, according to the foundation’s Form 990 filed with the IRS. That represents about 44 percent of the charitable giving the campaign disclosed on the spreadsheet.

“The family’s extensive charitable giving extends to many charitable organizations that they did not found,” Youngkin’s campaign said in a statement.

Youngkin, who stepped down as co-CEO of the private equity giant Carlyle Group last year as he considered a bid for governor, has a personal fortune estimated at upward of $300 million.

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Virginia governors and candidates for the office file personal finance disclosure forms, but those are far less detailed than tax filings. Candidates have been under pressure to release tax information since 2013, when Republican Ken Cuccinelli II took the unusual step of sharing eight years of tax records — a total of 225 pages — with the media. Except for forbidding copies and redacting some personal data, the campaign gave reporters full access to his 1040 forms.

Cuccinelli was the state attorney general and was running against McAuliffe, a longtime Democratic fundraiser and self-made multimillionaire. The returns showed Cuccinelli made $194,398 in 2012, including salary as attorney general and $30,000 he received for writing a book.

Cuccinelli, who narrowly lost to McAuliffe, had hoped his disclosure would push his rival to do the same, possibly shedding light on some of the Democrat’s business dealings. But McAuliffe only released a summary that did not identify the sources of his income. It indicated he had earned $9.5 million in 2012, including $2.2 million in capital gains, and paid $2.7 million in taxes.

In this year’s race, both candidates were wealthy and seemingly wary of releasing tax returns or summaries. The Youngkin and McAuliffe campaigns told the Associated Press over the summer they would do so before Election Day, but by fall would not respond to the AP as it pressed them to make good on the promise.

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Without prompting, Youngkin’s campaign volunteered a summary Friday afternoon, in the form of a spreadsheet listing wages, capital gains, adjusted gross income, charitable deductions, other deductions, taxable income, total tax and effective tax rate. The campaign provided the spreadsheet on condition that it not be reproduced in print or online.

Because personal tax returns are private, The Post could not independently verify the figures.

A political newcomer who pumped at least $20 million of his own money into the race, Youngkin played up his humble roots with TV ads recalling his stint as a teen dishwasher at a Virginia Beach diner. After graduating from Rice University and Harvard Business School, he spent 25 years at Carlyle, a Washington-based global firm that manages more than $260 billion in investments. By 2018, he had climbed to co-CEO.

Inside Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin’s long career at Carlyle

Youngkin’s annual wages and salary rose over the past five years from $5.7 million in 2016 to $25.5 million last year, according to the spreadsheet. His capital gains over that period were at times far greater than his salary — most notably in 2016, when his salary was about $5.7 million and his capital gains were nearly $21 million.

Capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than income and Youngkin’s effective tax rate fluctuated over the years — from a high of 31.7 percent in 2019 to a low of 15.4 percent in 2018.

Youngkin made $26.8 million in 2019, including $2.8 million in capital gains. He claimed nearly $10.5 million in charitable deductions that year and paid $4.9 million in taxes.

In 2018, his income was just under $12 million, $6.6 million of that from capital gains. He had $5.6 million in charitable deductions and paid $782,731 in taxes.

Youngkin made $21.8 million in 2017, including $14.6 million in capital gains. He claimed $9.9 million in charitable deductions and paid $2.2 million in taxes.

In 2016, he made $26.7 million, nearly $21 million of that in capital gains. He gave $11.7 million to charity and paid $3.3 million in taxes.

Some of the income figures on the spreadsheet do not line up with how Carlyle reported Youngkin’s compensation package in public financial filings. In 2018, for example, the spreadsheet shows nearly $12 million in salary and capital gains, while Carlyle financial filings say he received a compensation package totaling more than $37 million in cash and stock.

His campaign indicated that was because the compensation package disclosed by the company includes stock grants in which he was not yet vested.

Upon his retirement in September 2020, Youngkin walked away from more than $108 million in unvested stock grants.