Congressman Foster releases tax returns, Biggert takes note - New York News

Congressman Foster releases tax returns, Biggert takes note

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

When Fox Chicago reported exclusively on Rep. Judy Biggert's income tax returns two weeks ago, we noted that she is believed to be the wealthiest member of Illinois's Congressional delegation. Her Democratic challenger, though, is even wealthier, a point underscored in her new attack ad.

A Foster spokesman said the 11th District congressional candidate is, indeed, a multi-millionaire. But he called just about everything else in his opponent's new ad misleading. He said a theatrical stage lighting company Foster co-founded in 1975 did layoff 61 people during a downturn a decade ago, but it now employs more than ever: 650 in the U.S.

The new ad debuted as Foster released his income tax returns for the first time ever. One surprise in a review by Fox Chicago News: while preparing his campaign to return to Congress, Foster earned so little last year that he owed no income tax. His wife, Aesook Byon, also a physicist like Foster, filed her taxes separately. She made more than $200,000 in 2011. So, the couple paid about $55,000 in taxes -- 24.7% of their income.

While Foster sold his interest in the lighting company to his partners in 2007, the payout will take 16 years and be taxed at the lower, capital gains rate. In 2010, for example, Foster and his wife received a combined $1.5 million, with 18.6% their effective joint tax rate.

Other congressional candidates, too, are releasing their returns, including Rep. Robert Dold. The Kenilworth Republican released his, and called on Democratic challenger Brad Schneider to do the same.

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