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Eliot Spitzer rebuffs Scott Stringer challenge on income tax returns

Former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer speaks

Former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer speaks to the media in Union Square as he gathers signatures to be a candidate for comptroller in Manhattan. (July 8, 2013) Credit: Charles Eckert

Eliot Spitzer rebuffed a challenge from rival New York City comptroller candidate Scott Stringer to make public his income tax returns for the past five years.

Stringer released his returns for the period because he believes "integrity, transparency and public trust" should be attributes of a comptroller, his spokeswoman Audrey Gelman said.

Spitzer, who as governor regularly released his tax returns, will not do so now because "they contain income information about partnerships and other entities that are private," his spokeswoman Lisa Linden said in a statement.

Instead, Spitzer disclosed his income and tax payments for 2012 and 2011. His adjusted gross income in 2012 was $4.268 million and his federal, state and city taxes were $2.094 million, his campaign said.

Stringer's federal 2012 return showed that he and wife Elyse Buxbaum had an adjusted gross income of about $218,000 and paid about $50,000 in federal taxes.

Meanwhile, the 27,000 petition signatures Spitzer submitted last Thursday to get on the ballot are facing a formal challenge. Republican strategist E. O'Brien Murray on Monday filed an objection to the city board of elections. He said he reviewed the signatures and found what he believes are errors.

"He's a walking ethical question mark," Murray said.

Spitzer attorney Martin Connor in a statement said general objections can be filed without "a scintilla of substance."

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