Double the Money:

Faulconer’s Tax Returns Show Income Nearly Doubled In 2012

by Claire Trageser | KPBS

Tax returns released by City Councilman Kevin Faulconer’s mayoral campaign show Faulconer and his wife Katherine Stuart Faulconer nearly doubled their income between 2011 and 2012.

In 2011, the Faulconers reported about $142,500. In 2012, records show about $245,900.

Faulconer’s campaign made the tax returns available after KPBS and inewsource published a story Thursday on each mayoral candidate’s finances. The campaign did not provide copies of the returns, but allowed us to inspect them and take notes.

The Faulconers’ joint returns show they did not take a standard deduction. The campaign did not provide Schedule A, which would show the Faulconers’ itemized deductions, including medical expenses and charitable donations.

Faulconer’s opponent, City Councilman David Alvarez, released his tax returns to KPBS/inewsource last week. They show total income for Alvarez and his wife Xochitl Miramontes Alvarez dropped from $118,100 in 2011 to $99,600 in 2012. In 2010, their total income was $96,300. Stephen Heverly, spokesman for Alvarez’s campaign, said the couple put more money into a pre-tax retirement account in 2012 than in 2011.

In 2011 and 2012, Alvarez’s returns also reported nonemployee compensation of $1,600 and $2,200, respectively. Heverly said that money is from stipends for Alvarez’s service on outside boards and commissions, such as SANDAG and the Metropolitan Transit System.

Both Alvarez and Faulconer make about $75,000 a year as city councilmen. Faulconer’s wife Katherine Stuart Faulconer owns a business called Restaurant Events, which he reported brought in between $100,000 and $1 million in 2011 and 2012.

Faulconer told KPBS/inewsource Katherine Stuart Faulconer’s 2012 salary was $174,000.

Faulconer’s 2012 Statement of Economic Interests, which public officials must file annually in order to help identify and prevent possible conflicts of interest, says his wife earned less than $100,000 in 2012. Faulconer’s campaign says candidates are only required to report their “community property interests,” meaning half of their spouse’s income on economic disclosures. Stacey Fulhorst, the director of the San Diego Ethics Commission, confirmed this is correct.

Because Restaurant Events is a corporation, it uses a separate tax return, so its profit or loss would not be reported on the Faulconers’ tax returns. Their tax returns show all of their income coming from wages.

Matt Awbrey, a spokesman for Faulconer’s campaign, said the Faulconers’ income bump was due to Restaurant Events bringing in more money thanks to an improved economy.

Alvarez’s wife Xochitl Miramontes Alvarez works as an assistant principal at Nativity Prep Academy, a Catholic private school. Alvarez’s campaign told KPBS/inewsource she makes $55,000 and was recently promoted from a teacher to an assistant principal, which increased her salary.

A tax attorney who examined both candidates’ returns for KPBS and inewsource said he did not see anything unusual in either candidate’s reported finances.

KPBS/inewsource requested both candidates’ tax returns and asked them questions about their financial interests, debt and household income to encourage transparency. We also searched public records for each candidate, the results of which are reported here.

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