April 14, 2004,
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's largest single source of income in 2003 came from the sale of his half-interest in a painting by a 17th-century Dutch artist, according to tax returns released Tuesday by the Kerry campaign. (To see Kerry's entire 2003 federal return, click here.)
Kerry's 2003 return shows that he received $175,000 as his part from the sale of a work by the 17th-century Dutch seascape painter Adam Willaerts.
Kerry's Senate salary for 2003 was $147,818.
In 1996, the year he acquired his half of the $1,000,000 picture, Kerry reported a total income of $143,795.
The return does not say who owned the other half of the painting, which sold in 2003 for a total of $1,350,000, but it was presumably Kerry's multimillionaire heiress wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry. The two file separate tax returns, and the campaign did not release any information about Mrs. Kerry's income or taxes.
Kerry also reported $89,220 in royalties from his campaign autobiography, A Call to Service: My Vision for a Better America, published last October by Viking Press.
Kerry's 2003 return illustrates the extent to which Kerry's lifestyle is subsidized by his wife. Apart from the income from the painting, Kerry's Senate salary would not be enough to pay the property taxes on the several residences they own.
In addition to his 2003 returns, Kerry also released federal tax returns from the years 1999 to 2002 yesterday. There has been some dispute about returns for those years. Kerry has claimed that he had already released the returns in January of this year, he said, " I released all my tax returns for 20 years. I have never not released my tax returns throughout my political career." But aside from releasing details from his 2002 taxes which showed a total income of $144,091 it is not clear that Kerry has ever made public his returns from 1999 or 2000 or 2001 before now.