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Nixon leads governor candidates with $619,000 income

Cynthia Nixon marches with striking graduate students attempting

Cynthia Nixon marches with striking graduate students attempting to unionize at Columbia University on Monday. Credit: Linda Rosier

ALBANY — Working Families Party candidate Cynthia Nixon made $619,799 last year from acting, real estate investments, revenue from her management company and the sale of a Montauk condominium, according to a joint tax return that Nixon filed with her wife and showed reporters Friday.

Nixon’s total household receipts for the year were $1.9 million, which includes the proceeds from stock sales, according to her campaign.

The income by the activist, theater actor and co-star of the “Sex and the City” TV series and movies is tops among announced candidates for governor. Her income compares with $212,776 in salary and revenue from investments reported by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, whom Nixon is challenging for the Democratic nomination — in a state dominated 2-to-1 by Democratic voters.

For 2016, Cuomo reported total income of about $400,000. That included his governor’s salary of about $168,000, plus $218,000 from the final installment of royalties for his 2014 book, “All Things Possible.”

Republican candidate Marc Molinaro and his wife, Corinne Adams, reported $174,048 in income for 2017. Most of that was from Molinaro’s salary as the Dutchess County executive.

The median household income for state residents is $60,741, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Nixon and her wife, Christine Marinoni, reported giving $7,979 directly to charity and thousands more through Nixon’s company, The Fickle Mermaid.

By comparison, Cuomo donated a total of $11,000 to the homelessness charity he founded, HELP USA.

Molinaro and his wife reported donating $1,000 in furniture, clothing and household items to Young Mission Outreach of Poughkeepsie.

A study by the National Center for Charitable Statistics based on 2011 federal tax returns found the average New York taxpayer with a gross adjusted income of averaging $68,841 who itemized his or her deductions contributed $4,305 to charity.

Nixon and Marinoni paid $37,216 in wages for household help in the Manhattan home they share with their two sons. The Nixon campaign didn’t immediately respond to questions about whether that was a full-time wage and if it was for one or several workers.

Nixon and Marinoni, a former staffer for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, reported that they paid $28,331 in property taxes on their Manhattan home. Marinoni made $131,000 in 2017 working for the city as an education administrator, according to payroll records; she left that job this year.

Molinaro and Adams paid $9,262 in property taxes for their home in Dutchess County and $8,696 for a rental property they lease.

Cuomo reported paying no property taxes but has said he splits the household costs with his longtime partner, food TV host and author Sandra Lee, in her home in Westchester County.

Nixon and Marinoni reported that they made $183,344 on the sale of a home in Montauk that they bought Feb. 2, 2012, and sold March 28, 2017. The tax returns didn’t identify the address, but noted the ZIP code of the property.

They still have another condominium in Montauk that brought them $185,786 in income, but they reported that the property, after expenses including upkeep and depreciation, resulted in a loss of $83,111.

Nixon’s acting and performance company, The Fickle Mermaid, is named after a children’s tale. Nixon is the only officer of the company, created to help manage her acting career and limit her personal legal liability, as such corporations do, according to her campaign.

She draws a $400,000 salary and said she works 100 percent for the company, the returns showed.

The tax returns also show the company donated more than $8,000 to various charities, including the Bowery Mission and Girl Scouts; more than $12,000 to arts groups including Symphony Space and the Foundation for American Art; and more than $20,000 to progressive political groups such as the North Star Fund billed as a grass-roots movement.

The couple also contributed $500 to the Friends of Montauk Library.

Cuomo’s campaign criticized Nixon for not releasing more years of tax returns, noting that Cuomo once released several years of his tax returns. Nixon’s campaign noted that Cuomo didn’t release his 2010 tax returns until after his campaign won him the governor’s office.

Molinaro has tried to position himself as the only candidate who knows what it’s like to struggle in New York, a high-cost, high-tax state.

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