Arianna Huffington, the socialite populist, pays almost no taxes, reports the LA Times.
TV commentator and author Arianna Huffington, who launched her campaign for governor with criticism of “fat cats” who fail to shoulder a fair share of taxes, paid no individual state income tax and just $771 in federal taxes during the last two years, her tax returns show.
Huffington, who released her tax returns for the last two years to The Times, lives in an 8,000-square-foot home in Brentwood above Sunset Boulevard that is valued at about $7 million. She socializes with many wealthy and prominent people.
But the returns show that at least for the last two years, her income was far outweighed by losses that she reported were incurred by Christabella Inc., the private corporation she owns and uses to manage her writing and lecturing business.
In announcing her candidacy last week, Huffington blamed California’s fiscal crisis, in part, on the corrupting influence of special interest groups that have helped “corporate fat cats get away with not paying their fair share of taxes.”
Failing to close corporate tax loopholes, she argued, would “be a slap in the face of all the hard-working taxpayers being forced to dig deeper and deeper in their pockets so the well-connected can pad their bottom line.”
Huffington told the Times her deductions are “conservative.” While she earned $183,000 in 2002, her business expenses totaled $410,363 for research, travel, entertainment and rent on her Brentwood house, which is the address of her corporation. For example, she spent nearly $10,000 on make-up and a make-up consultant.
I write out of my home too, so I understand how those costs mount up. I wonder if I can write off the roof repairs as a business expense. Oh, I keep forgetting. I can avoid income taxes the old-fashioned way: No income.
Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, who earned $117,685 in 2002, donated $105 to charity. I guess he’s only generous with other people’s money.
Update: On her site, Huffington points out that she pays property taxes and payroll taxes, and that her employees pay taxes on their salaries. She also gives a quarter of her income (including child support?) to charity, she says.