State - Lansing Cox releases his 2009 tax returns Other candidates plan to as well

By Kathy Barks Hoffman

AP Political Writer

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Republican Mike Cox on Monday became the first Michigan gubernatorial candidate to release his 2009 tax returns.

The attorney general reported that he earned $118,519 while his wife, Wayne County Commissioner Laura Cox, earned $76,511. The Livonia couple claimed exemptions for three of their four children, paid $30,202 in federal taxes and are due a $1,011 federal refund.

In addition, Cox disclosed that their home is worth $226,000 and that they owe $201,000 on it. He reports having $97,000 in a state 401(k) retirement fund and $133,000 in a Wayne County 401(k) from his time with the prosecutor's office.

His wife reports having $55,000 in a Wayne County 401(k), $213,000 in a federal 401(k) from her time as a U.S. Customs agent and $39,000 in county deferred compensation. The couple also has $4,000 in Roth IRAs.

The Coxes gave $5,391 in cash and $490 in non-cash items to charity.

They reported a $4,264 gain on the sale of $15,000 of Exxon Mobil Corp. stock and invested $9,999 in Michigan Education Savings Plans for their children's college education. The couple holds $4,000 in Ford Motor Co. stock and $1,500 in General Electric Co. stock.

Cox posted his tax return and financial disclosure on the Office of Attorney General's state Web site. His tax returns for the previous three years also are available online. State officials are not required to disclose their financial holdings or taxes.

The attorney general supports legislation that would require state and local officials, candidates for office and their immediate family members to disclose their personal finances online to help avoid potential conflicts of interest.

State Sen. Tom George, another Republican running for governor, also supports full disclosure.

George said Monday that he plans to post his 2009 tax return once it's done.

A spokesman for Republican U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra said the congressman has released his tax returns for 17 years and plans to release his 2009 return. Hoekstra also files annual financial disclosure reports required by federal law.

Republican Rick Snyder's campaign spokesman said the Ann Arbor venture capitalist also plans to release his tax return.

It was unknown whether Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard plans to release his. A message seeking comment was not immediately returned Monday by his campaign spokeswoman.

Among Democrats running for governor, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith plan to release their tax returns when they're complete.

Published: Wed, Mar 17, 2010

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