Menendez netted $172,000 in 2011, returns show - My9 New Jersey

Menendez netted $172,000 in 2011, returns show

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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey paid $46,850 in taxes last year on a net income of $171,874, his tax returns show.

Menendez, a Hudson County Democrat who is seeking re-election in November, released five years' worth of tax returns at his campaign office in New Brunswick on Thursday.

The filings show most of the senator's income comes from his federal salary of $174,000. He also owns an apartment building in Union City that he rents out to five tenants, including his sister. Menendez did not pay taxes on $15,504 he put away toward retirement.

Menendez, 58, paid 21.4 percent of his income in federal taxes last year and 5.2 percent in state taxes.

Menendez's campaign spokesman, Paul Brubaker, said the senator was releasing the documents to maintain transparency with New Jersey voters.

"These documents are a classic what-you-see-is-what-you get study of Bob Menendez," said Brubaker. "Like many people in New Jersey, the senator has one job to which he devotes himself."

The campaign of his Republican opponent, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (kih-RIHL'-lohs) of Monmouth County, challenged what it called "the illusion" that Menendez's income level is "on par" with middle-class New Jerseyans because he ranks near the bottom in wages earned by U.S. senators.

Kyrillos, 52, released his tax returns last week.

Kyrillos, a real estate broker, and his wife, an insurance consultant, earned $437,000 last year and paid $130,763 in taxes.

Tax returns have been an issue in the presidential campaign.

Republican Mitt Romney has released his 2010 tax return and has pledged to release his 2011 return before the Nov. 6 election. Romney has said he paid at least 13 percent in taxes during the past decade.

Kyrillos paid 37 percent in federal taxes last year and 8 percent in state taxes.

Menendez's income and tax rate were largely unchanged from 2007. The senator was divorced in 2005 and has two adult children. A former congressman, Menendez is seeking his second full six-year term in the Senate.

He claimed $6,436 in business travel expenses and $292 in interest. He holds a mortgage for under $100,000 on the apartment building.

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