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Monday, December 10 , 2018, 7:10 pm | Fair 57º


Capps Failed to Disclose Pension Income, Records Show

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, has been called out again by her Republican opponent, Abel Maldonado, for failing to disclose income.

Records show that Capps initially failed to disclose two pensions as income, totaling more than $500,000, in her documents filed with the Legislative Resource Center.

In her first eight years in Congress, from 1998 to 2006, Capps failed to report her income from the State Teachers Retirement System or Regents of the University of California pensions, according to public records.

She corrected that in 2008 and has claimed the amounts since. In 2008, she received $18,593 from the State Teachers Retirement System and $44,121 from the Regents of the University of California.

The 24th Congressional District race between Capps and Maldonado has been rife with tax controversies on both sides.

Maldonado’s campaign has called out Capps for this and her other disclosure issue: failing to report rental income.

When Capps published her personal tax returns on her campaign site earlier this year, it became clear she had failed to report $41,000 of income from renting a room to then-staffer Jeremy Tittle. That financial relationship wasn’t disclosed to Congress until several years later — in 2006 — and to the Internal Revenue Service until 2012.

She discovered the “oversight” and corrected it, Capps said, but Maldonado spokesman Kurt Bardella called her out for the delayed disclosure.

Capps’ campaign spokesman, Jeff Millman, said the congresswoman had voluntarily amended her tax returns, which is legal and shows no ethics violation. He had a similar statement about this week’s disclosure issue, saying it was “not really a significant matter.”

“The members of Congress do not have to list Social Security or thrift savings plan benefits, but they do have to list other pensions,” he said. “In this case, there was an inadvertent reporting error that Lois found on her own and immediately fixed many years ago. Her forms are property filed, and this is not a current issue. Instead of Mr. Maldonado attempting to distract voters, his time would be better spent paying the $4.2 million he owes in federal back taxes.”

Maldonado’s family business, Agro-Jal Farming Enterprises, is in a dispute with the IRS about more than $4 million in deductions. Maldonado could end up owing more than $450,000.

In addition, McClatchy Newspapers reported in early October that Maldonado claimed a catering bill as a business expense, though the 2007 event could have been a political fundraiser. It was reportedly hosted by his father and had 115 guests.

The $3,686 tab came on the same day that he raised $35,000 for his state re-election race, according to McClatchy.

To learn about the candidates’ thoughts on the other issues in November’s race, click here to read about their head-to-head debate for Noozhawk and KEYT.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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