New Mexico gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce and his wife published summary pages of their 2017 tax returns on Tuesday, offering a new glimpse into the personal finances of a Republican congressman and former oilfield entrepreneur.

Two pages from the couple’s federal tax return show a total tax assessment of $33,111 on taxable income of $255,620. Adjusted gross income was $431,114. The tax documents provide little information about the source of Pearce’s $124,000 salary and other income, though Pearce provides an annual summary of his business interests to Congress.

The Democratic candidate for governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, posted five years of lengthier tax returns in late May, responding to conjecture from primary election rivals about her past involvement in a company that oversees a statewide insurance pool.

New Mexico does not require candidates for public office to release tax information, nor is it a past tradition.

Beyond New Mexico, public access to candidates’ tax returns has become an issue in several hotly contested governor races in states including Pennsylvania, Iowa and Illinois.

President Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns in the 2016 election campaign broke four decades of precedent and has led to questions about his wealth, debts and Russian financial ties.

On the Pearces’ federal tax return, the tally for itemized deductions was about $175,000. Details of deductions were not provided. Campaign spokesman Kevin Sheridan said charitable contributions account for most of the deduction.

The self-funded Stevan and Cynthia Pearce Charitable Foundation has donated more than $1 million since 2001 to socially conservative social causes, religious organizations and philanthropic organizations.

The couple was assessed $5,533 in state income taxes for 2017, based on taxable income of $187,417.

On the campaign trail, Pearce has invoked his past financial success at the helm of an oilfield services company as evidence of his administrative abilities and intuition about what it will take to improve New Mexico’s economy.

Pearce sold that firm, Lea Fishing Tools, in 2003 to an energy conglomerate, channeling proceeds into a renamed company called Trinity Industries.

Corporate registration documents and a campaign spokesman indicate that Trinity and another company named LFT still lease out oilfield equipment to unnamed customers.

The vast majority of Pearce’s financial holdings are independently managed, campaign spokesman Kevin Sheridan has said.

Pearce’s financial disclosures as a member of Congress list four companies wholly owned by the candidate for governor.

Pearce also owns stock in Lea County State Bank and an affiliated holding company worth between $1,050,000 and $5,100,000, and Exxon Mobil shares worth between $15,000 and $50,000. Cynthia Pearce serves on the bank’s board of directors.

Both candidates to succeed Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who cannot run for a third consecutive term in office, are campaigning on promises to diversify New Mexico’s energy-dependent economy away from oil’s boom-and-bust cycles.

Both candidates have accepted campaign cash from the oil sector, though the Pearce campaign’s reliance on the industry is much more extensive.

In light of campaign donations, Pearce recently said he does not give the oil industry any special treatment or leeway from regulation.

Source: The Associated Press

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