Ward Room
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Giannoulias Tax Return: $26,000 Refund

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Giannoulias Tax Return: $26,000 Refund
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In observance of a holiday in which we celebrate our independence from burdensome taxation, Alexi Giannoulias revealed he's so unburdened the federal government is actually paying him $26,000.

That's not quite fair, so let's go straighter: In his just-released 2009 tax return, Alexi Giannoulias claims losses of $2.7 million related to the failure of Broadway Bank. Those losses garnered him $25,859 in refunds.

A campaign spokesperson says the refund will be donated to charity. "He hasn't decided yet exactly to whom and how," said Matt McGrath, "but he is focusing on local non-profits."

Giannoulias was a 3.6% shareholder in the Broadway S-corp, which had an operating loss of ~$90 million in '09. The bank wasn't sold until 2010, so Giannoulias' losses are actually greater than $2.7 million, says McGrath.

Now let's play one hand, the other hand.

On the one hand, now that Giannoulias has released his taxes, Mark Kirk can't accuse him of, well, not releasing his taxes. And, if you believe in the nobility of a Greek scion devoting himself to the family business, then you could find the Giannoulias family losses heartbreaking. Community banks! They're all struggling!

On the other hand, the holiday release is a sure sign the campaign isn't exactly excited about the news. Especially considering the returns give Kirk another reason to dredge up Broadway Bank and accuse Giannoulias of mismanaging bank funds.

Kirk also wins on the straight tax return-to-tax return comparison. Kirk paid $32,000 in taxes last year. Sure, Kirk's family bank didn't get seized and he didn't lose millions in net worth, but then that's his point, isn't it.

Note: The Giannoulias e-mailed to say that Giannoulias has paid over $2M in taxes over the last five years.

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