Vice President Joe Biden’s 2012 tax return was released by the White House on Friday along with President Obama’s, showing little change from the previous year’s filing but reviving questions about a rental arrangement made with Secret Service staff. As the Washington Times first reported in 2011, the Bidens are earning income by renting a cottage on the grounds of their Delaware property.
Through an arrangement made with the White House security team, Secret Service officers stay in the Bidens’ cottage in lieu of renting a home nearby. The Bidens earn $2,200 per month before taxes on the rental, of which they net about $18,000. Edwin Donovan, a spokesperson for the Secret Service, was quoted as saying the arrangement actually provides its service members with increased security.
“Having our command post in close proximity to the vice president’s residence affords us a level of security we wouldn’t have otherwise,” Donovan told the Fox News site.
Another interesting element of the VP’s joint filing with wife Dr. Jill Biden is the couple’s Goodwill and Ministry of Caring thrift store donations, which added up to $2,000 in overall deductions.
The Bidens largest non-cash donation was to the Ministry of Caring for exercise equipment and furniture, which were claimed to have $1,100 in store value. Other donations — of $400 and $500 in store value — were of “bicycles,” “kitchenware,” and other household items.
Otherwise, Biden’s tax return was unremarkable, as he and his wife reported a gross income of $385,072 and paid $87,851 in federal taxes. They paid an additional $17,000 in state taxes to Delaware and Virginia. Compared to the Obamas, the Bidens donated considerably less to charity. While the president and his wife contributions totaled nearly a quarter of the couple’s earnings, the Bidens donated less than 2 percent of income to charitable causes.
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