Mayoral tax returns

The Houston Chronicle, albeit briefly, reports on the challenge made by Annise Parker to her opponents, namely Ben Hall, to release a few years of tax returns. At some point recently, I have been added to the press release lists, so I actually have the full text of what Parker’s campaign said:

Today, Mayor Annise Parker publicly released her personal tax returns for 2012 – 2009. Parker has previously released tax returns for 2006-2008.

“I call on my opponents in the mayor’s race to release six years of their personal tax returns,” said Parker. “The mayor is responsible for billions of dollars of spending decisions. This is a minimal standard that mayoral candidates should meet.

“Our democracy works best when voters can determine that elected leaders are making decisions free from bias and conflicts of interest,” continued Parker. “That’s why I’ve made my tax returns public and I call on my opponents to do the same.”

Parker’s returns are available at: www.AnniseParker.com/tax-returns.

A businesswoman, community leader and mother, Annise Parker is completing her second term as Mayor of Houston – with a strong focus on growing our local economy, keeping Houston safe and improving the quality of life for every Houstonian. Annise has also served for six years as a city councilmember and six years as controller. She worked for 20 years in Houston’s oil and gas industry after graduating from Rice University and served in a variety of community leadership roles before her election to public office. Learn more at www.AnniseParker.com.

I found it interesting that Parker did not release tax returns in preparation for her 2011 campaign. I suppose her opposition in that election did not merit what she pushes so hard for now? For the life of me, I could never figure out why tax returns are such a big deal, but evidently our Mayor agrees with our Governor on the point of them being, indeed, a big deal.

It is easy for any incumbent to make such a demand. When you have been working for the Government as long as Mayor Parker has, everyone with a working keyboard and this website can know exactly what your income has been.

Ben Hall, on the other hand, is the wildcard. Not being on the public payroll since the 90s could expose a whole can of worms for his personal finances, especially considering his problems in that field over the last year.

At the end of the day, I don’t really care about tax returns, but a lot of people do. What I probably found the most entertaining from the entire story is the Chronicle only mentioned Hall’s tax returns. I wonder why they did not call out Dick on the tax returns as well (Please, PLEASE, that is not a suggestion for another press release filled with lewd puns).

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