Tax returns: Cuomo earned $178,763 in '09

ALBANY - Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo earned $178,763 last year and paid $72,533 in taxes, according to documents released Thursday.

Cuomo was paid $144,026 as state attorney general and received $28,211 from an investment partnership that has since been dissolved. However, his earnings were sharply lower than in 2008 when they totaled nearly $400,000, in part due to healthy gains from hedge fund investments.

Cuomo's 2009 tax bill included $33,101 to the federal government, $12,418 to the state and $6,495 to New York City. His refunds totaled $14,007.

He took no deduction for property taxes on his primary residence in Mount Kisco. The $1.2-million home is owned by his girlfriend Sandra Lee, a Food Network star. A Cuomo spokesman said the couple "do share in expenses on the house, including the property tax expense."

Cuomo has been registered to vote in Mount Kisco since August 2009. But he chose to pay the New York City resident tax "out of an abundancy of caution" as he split his time last year between a rented apartment in lower Manhattan and Lee's Westchester County home, spokesman John Milgrim said Thursday.

Cuomo is the last statewide elected official to make public his income tax returns. Gov. David A. Paterson and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released returns around the April 15 filing deadline while Cuomo provided estimates because he sought a six-month extension.

Cuomo's charitable giving consisted of $7,500 to Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged, which he started in 1986 to aid the homeless. He donated nothing to the seven funds listed on all state forms, including the 9/11 Memorial, Alzheimer's Fund and Return a Gift to Wildlife. Asked why Cuomo didn't participate in the donation checkoff, spokesman Milgrim noted the HELP contribution represented about 5 percent of Cuomo's 2009 income.

Cuomo earned $15,277 in interest on investments with the Chase and AMG National Trust banks, but only $2,730 was subject to tax. Dividends from the AMG National Trust accounts totaled $3,796.

He also reported $28,211 in capital gains from POA Partners LLC, which invested in stocks. "The partnership was terminated last year and the attorney general received the value of his investment, which was relatively small," Milgrim said. He said he didn't know when Cuomo began investing in POA or details about the other partners.

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