Mitt Romney may have a lower effective tax rate than many middle-class Americans, but he’s still dreaming of ways to pay even less.
At a town hall-style event in Manchester, New Hampshire on Monday, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee told supporters that he could “save me some tax dollars” if he became a resident of the state, which doesn’t have a tax on W-2 reported wages.
“So many friends here in New Hampshire,” Romney said at the beginning of his remarks. “I feel like I’m almost a New Hampshire resident. … It would save me some tax dollars, I think.”
Ann and Mitt Romney own a $10 million lake house in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, where the couple has been spending part of their summers for 15 years.
While New Hampshire does not have a tax on W-2 reported wages, the state does tax income from interest and dividends.
Romney’s joke about paying less taxes is somewhat surprising since the question of his taxes have dogged his campaign throughout the year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has tried to goad the GOP hopeful into releasing more returns by suggesting that he had not paid any taxes during a ten year period.
On Saturday, President Barack Obama noted that under a plan offered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Republican vice presidential candidate, Romney would “pay less than one percent in taxes each year.”
Romney insisted to reporters last week that he had paid more than 13 percent of his income in taxes — or more if donations to the Mormon church were included — over the last 10 years, and accused the people who want to see his returns of being “small minded.”
During an interview with NBC, Ann Romney said that there would be “no more tax releases given” by the wealthy couple, but she also insisted that “there’s nothing we’re hiding.”
Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol pointed out on Monday that it was “kinda weird” that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s tax rate was only around 13 percent when most middle-class people paid significantly more.
“I personally, if I were designing the tax code, would have a tax code in which Mitt Romney paid more than 13 percent, I would say, given what I know about the kind of investments he made money from,” Kristol told C-SPAN. “I think it just seems kinda weird that he pays a lower rate than an awful lot of middle-class people.”
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Aug. 20, 2012.