The Associated Press April 28, 2010, 3:44PM ET

Ohio governor releases tax forms showing income

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and his wife have averaged a combined annual income of $162,450 over the past four years, according to personal tax returns the governor released Wednesday as part of his re-election campaign.

The returns show most of Strickland's income coming from his governor's salary and a congressional pension of about $30,000.

The governor paid about $22,000 annually in taxes each year, and over the entire four years returned $31,682 to the state for the cost of his health care, which he pays for himself.

Strickland has declined taxpayer-funded health care both as a congressman and since being elected governor in 2006.

Strickland, a Democrat, called on his Republican rival, former congressman John Kasich, to release his own income tax returns for the past 10 years.

"Anything else will do a disservice to the people of Ohio and raise legitimate and serious questions about Congressman Kasich's business transactions," Strickland said.

Earlier this month, Kasich made available his 2008 tax filing, showing he made nearly $590,000 in salary and bonuses as a Lehman Brothers managing director in 2008 before the banking giant collapsed later that year.

However, Kasich did not collect any bonus or "golden parachute" from Lehman after its collapse, according to a 2009 financial disclosure.

Campaign spokesman Rob Nicholas said these documents disproved speculation by the Ohio Democratic Party that the former congressman made millions of dollars when Lehman went under.

Kasich already has released more information about his taxes than is required by state law, Nichols said Wednesday, adding that Strickland is trying to divert attention from his record.

"This press conference today was simply an attempt to turn the microscope away form his own failures, his own inability to lead, his inability to stop the free fall," Nichols said Wednesday.

Before taxes, Strickland earned $142,000 as governor in 2009. His salary decreased in the second half of the year to $139,000 after he took a pay cut in line with cuts all state employees took to balance the budget.

Strickland also reported $5,580 in income over four years from royalties that Frances Strickland received from an educational system she developed for screening beginning kindergartners.


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