Palin's Tax Returns Raise Questions

Experts query travel payments, other reimbursements
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2008 6:56 AM CDT
Sarah Palin, center, talks with her daughter Piper and her husband, Todd Palin before boarding the campaign plane to leave Dallas, Friday, Oct. 3, 2008.    (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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(Newser) – Sarah Palin's tax returns, released yesterday, show her to be the least wealthy of the presidential candidates, the Wall Street Journal reports, and the governor herself to be the family's main breadwinner. The Palins reported a combined income of $166,000 in 2007, up from $128,000 in 2006. Todd Palin contributed $46,600 in earnings from an oil company, and $15,500 from a commercial fishing business, but he lost $10,000 on his racing venture.

The Huffington Post raises questions about more than $60,000 in travel reimbursements for Palin and members of her family during her 18 months in office; tax experts say her own travel expenses are deductable, but those of her husband and kids are not. And the Washington Post raises questions about $16,951 she received in meal and incidental expenses when she stayed at her home in Wasilla instead of at the governor's mansion in Juneau. State officials said they weren't taxable; other tax experts disagree.