WASHINGTON: Republican Mitt Romney is not the wealthiest American to run for president, but he is undoubtedly a member of the mega-rich, according to disclosure forms he filed yesterday with US authorities.
The Romney campaign pegged his net worth at between US$190 million and US$250 million – not quite the billionaire status of Ross Perot, who sought the White House in the 1990s, but mighty wealthy nonetheless.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) released Romney’s public financial disclosure report, presumably timed for minimal news exposure heading into the weekend.
The FEC filing showed a wide range, between US$83 million and US$255 million, because candidates are allowed to characterise their assets in very broad terms.
Romney listed deposits in Goldman Sachs, for example, as between US$5 million and US$25 million. Several other assets were listed at between US$1 million and US$5 million.
The campaign said a more accurate range was between US$190 and US$250 million, adding that a trust for Mitt and Ann Romney’s five children was valued at “roughly US$100 million”.
Forbes magazine published an extensive analysis of Romney’s fortune last month, concluding the unofficial Republican presidential nominee was worth some US$230 million.
His biggest piece of the pie, US$91 million, is in debt securities, according to Forbes.
Next comes Romney’s US$52 million in stakes in dozens of funds belonging to Bain Capital, the private equity firm he founded and then headed for several years, the magazine said on its website.
Romney revealed in January that he had reported income of US$21.7 million in 2010 from investments and US$20.9 million in 2011, and in 2010 paid just over US$3 million in taxes, or 13.9%, a much lower rate than many Americans.
President Barack Obama, whom Romney is challenging in November’s election, released his tax returns in April, showing he earned nearly US$800,000 last year, and paid a federal tax rate of about 20.5%.
Salaried US workers can fork over as much as 35% of their earnings in federal taxes.