Jeb Bush releases 33 years’ of tax returns

Jeb Bush’s effective federal tax rate hovered around 36% over more than three decades of earnings.

Republican Jeb Bush is one of the wealthiest candidates in the 2016 presidential field and pays far more in taxes than the typical American, according to 33 years’ of tax returns released by his campaign on Tuesday, the most ever by a U.S. presidential candidate.

Bush said his total net worth is between $19 million and $22 million, most likely less than Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, who, in addition to millions in assets, has reported earning $25 million with her husband in speaking fees over a recent 16-month period. On the other hand, Bush is likely wealthier than many of his GOP rivals.

His effective federal tax rate, meanwhile, hovered around 36% over more than three decades of earnings. The average rate for middle-income households was projected to be 12% in 2013, the latest available data. The top 1% of U.S. earners paid an effective rate of 33%.

The high tax rate paid by Bush may help inoculate him from the kinds of political attacks faced by 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, from both the Obama campaign and some of his GOP primary rivals. Because his income came from his work at a private-equity firm, and was taxed at a lower rate, Romney paid an effective tax rate of 14% in 2011.

Bush told reporters at a briefing Tuesday that the U.S. needs to lower tax rates and eliminate deductions “that I apparently did not take full advantage of.”

An expanded version of this article appears on WSJ.com

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