After his income fell below $1 million in 2020, Gov. Phil Murphy saw it rise dramatically to just under $5 million last year, according to partial tax returns and a tax summary released Thursday by his office.
The 65-year-old retired Wall Street executive and his wife, First Lady Tammy Murphy, who are filing their statements together, reported earnings of $4.97 million in 2021, Murphy’s fourth year as governor, thanks to a surge in their stock portfolio .
That’s an increase of $4 million, or 406%, from a year earlier, when the couple reported about $982,000, marking the first time their annual income had fallen below $1 million in a decade.
The Murphys also paid $1.79 million in state and federal income taxes last year at a 36% tax rate (up from $445,000 at a 45% tax rate last year).
In addition, they donated $691,000 to charity, up from $649,000 the previous year.
Murphy released only his 1040 tax form and a summary of his 2015-2021 tax returns on Thursday. He will give reporters a four-hour window Friday in Trenton to see his full 2021 tax returns. He will not release the full returns to the public.
The governor spent years as an executive at investment bank Goldman Sachs before retiring in 2000. He and his wife have since made much of their money from investment dividends.
After taking office in January 2018, Murphy and his wife placed their shares in blind trusts that manage their assets. That means someone else was managing their holdings.
Murphy’s office said one reason for the drop in earnings in 2020 was that managers on his portfolio sold or traded fewer assets, including stocks. This includes the time when the coronavirus pandemic began to affect the world.
Last year, the Murphys reported about $4.29 million in capital gains, $531,000 in dividends and $123,000 in interest, the partial tax return shows. That’s an increase from $277,500, $416,000, and $136,000 in 2020, respectively.
The couple’s income has fallen about 27% since the governor’s election. They each earned less than $3 million during Murphy’s first three years in office: $2.2 million in 2018, $2.7 million in 2019, and $982,600 in 2020, before stepping up in 2021 $4.97 million rose.
For comparison, the Murphys earned $6.8 million in 2017, $4.6 million in 2016, $7.3 million in 2015, $6.4 million in 2014, and $4.9 million in 2013, according to records -$, 2012 $3.8 million, 2011 $2.7 million and 2010 $3.2 million.
In 2020, the governor ironically missed the threshold for the landmark millionaire tax he and the Democratic lawmaker enacted in 2019, raising state income taxes on wealthy New Jersey residents to pump more money into the state budget.
The law increased the gross income tax rate for income between $1 million and $5 million from 8.97% to 10.75%. Murphy repeatedly said it’s fair that people who make more money should pay more in taxes.
His jump in earnings over the last year means he will now qualify for the tax increase.
Murphy makes only a fraction of his money from his job as governor — a taxpayer-funded salary of $175,000.
Figures released Thursday do not reflect the couple’s actual net worth, which has been estimated at more than $50 million in previous years.
The Murphys earned a total of $17.69 million from 2015 to 2021, according to the five-year tax summary provided by the governor’s office.
They paid $6.3 million in taxes during that time, at rates ranging from 32.83% to 54.29%.
Public officials are not required to release their tax returns. Murphy’s Republican predecessor, former Governor Chris Christie, published his full reports online every year.
Check out Murphy’s 1040 here.
View Murphy’s tax overview here.
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