Tax returns show SC Gov. Haley and her husband report earning more than $280,000 in 2013


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COLUMBIA, South Carolina — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and her husband reported earning more than $282,000 in her third year as the state's CEO and donating $126,000 to charity, according to 2013 tax returns she allowed reporters to view Wednesday afternoon.

The returns show that about $105,000 of the Haleys' earnings last year came from her book, "Can't is Not an Option," released in 2012. They also earned $70,500 from real estate investments.

State law sets the governor's salary at just over $106,000. Most of Michael Haley's income is not part of their reported earnings, since his military income was not taxable during his deployment to Afghanistan with the South Carolina Army National Guard. Captain Haley's unit left in January 2013 for a month of training in Indiana before heading overseas. He returned to Columbia in December.

The first couple paid a combined $20,700 in taxes — $16,743 in federal taxes and $3,948 in state. That's $11,000 less than last year.

They received a $2,800 refund from the state. They were due a $3,060 federal refund but chose instead to apply that toward what they'll owe in 2014.

Of the $126,000 given to charity, $80,000 went to her community aid foundation, the Original Six, which is named for her family. Her parents and siblings referred to themselves as the "original six" as the only Indian-American family in tiny Bamberg, where she grew up. Haley announced in December 2011 that she would use all profits from the book to set up the nonprofit to help the state's poorest counties.

The couple also gave $20,000 to Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church, $20,000 to the Sikh Religious Society, and $500 to Special Olympics. They estimated the worth of a clothing donation to the Hannah House at $500.

The Haleys' tax returns attributed 19 percent of their investment income to her father. The rest was listed simply as "other."

Their taxable income last year actually declined by $170. Their 2012 adjusted gross income of $282,200 included $175,000 from her book advance. Their 2011 combined income of $367,000 included her initial advance of $200,000.

Haley's campaign gave reporters access to her 2013 tax returns a week after her Democratic opponent, Sen. Vincent Sheheen, handed out copies of his.

Sheheen's taxable income last year was $306,000. November represents a rematch between Sheheen and Haley, who won in 2010 by 4.5 percentage points.

The tax return releases of both Haley, a former House member, and Sheheen cover their years in office and initial election year.

Documents shown to reporters Wednesday were dated July 1. Haley campaign spokesman Rob Godfrey said the Haleys initially filed April 11, but the couple re-filed after the U.S. Department of Defense sent out corrected forms for Michael Haley, to reflect his full deployment. The amended returns specify the need for the changes as a corrected W-2 from Defense.

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