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September 2, 2022

Bob Stefanowski’s tax returns: Average income $12M over 3 years

YEHYUN KIM / CTMIRROR.ORG Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski, center, talks to Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly, R-Stratford, right, and Sen. Henri Martin, R-Bristol, after a press conference.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski released tax return data late Thursday night that showed total income of $36.8 million over the past three years without disclosing identities of his business consulting clients.

The campaign released the summary pages for the federal returns he and his wife, Amy, filed jointly for 2019, 2020 and 2021, the three years following his first run for governor and preceding his current campaign to unseat Gov. Ned Lamont.

The joint returns showed the Stefanowskis paid federal taxes of $1.78 million on adjusted gross income of $7.3 million in 2019; $5.49 million on an AGI of $15.25 million in 2020; and $5.23 million on an AGI of $13.12 million in 2021.

Their total federal tax bill for the three years was nearly $12.5 million on taxable income of $35.6 million.

The summaries emailed at 11:06 p.m. are limited, showing types of income, but not sources. In the case of a couple filing jointly, there is no breakdown of the wages earned by a specific spouse.

Three years ago, his campaign said the bulk of the Stefanowskis’ joint income had been earned by the candidate. On Thursday night, the campaign declined to answer questions about the sources, while claiming a new standard of transparency.

“By releasing three years of joint tax returns today, the Stefanowskis are providing a refreshing level of transparency to the people of Connecticut, one which Governor Lamont and his wife have repeatedly failed to match,” Sarah Clark, the campaign spokeswoman, said in a written statement.

Given the lack of disclosure about Stefanowski’s consulting clientele, the Lamont campaign is certain to debate that point.

Lamont released similar data about his own income in April, while shielding the finances of his wife, Annie, a successful venture capitalist. The Lamonts filed separate returns, as allowed under federal law.

Annie Lamont did disclose identities of companies in which her firm is invested in a filing with the Office of State Ethics that exceeded what is required under the state ethics code.

Along with his tax summaries, Stefanowski disclosed his investments, which mainly were in mutual funds, not individual equities.

Stefanowski had promised the release of the returns by the end of August, a deadline he missed by a single day. He released only his federal returns, not his state filings.

“We’ll be [in] full disclosure on my finances and my wife’s finances,” Stefanowski said on April 5. Asked then if that disclosure would include sources of his income, he replied, “That will be what’s included in a tax return, and we can talk about it when it comes out.”

In June, Stefanowski clarified in an interview with CT Mirror that non-disclosure agreements most likely would keep him from identifying the domestic and international clientele of his consulting firm, Lolo Consulting LLC, a name derived from a childhood nickname of one of his three daughters.

On Thursday, he provided a summary of Lolo’s services and the sectors it served, but not the clients:

“Services provided by Lolo Consulting include merger & acquisition and due diligence support, corporate strategy and other general consulting services. Lolo Consulting has advised on acquisitions and joint ventures in the financial services, healthcare and energy sectors.”

Amy Stefanowski, who is a Realtor, has two limited liability companies that provide home remodeling, home staging and rentals.

The campaign offered one footnote about the Stefanowski’s deductions: In 2020, the couple contributed $500,000 for the purchase and distribution of 1.6 million surgical masks in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stefanowski, 60, is a former corporate executive whose last full-time job was as the chief executive officer of DFC Global, a payday loan company he ran for little more than two years, leaving in 2017.

Both Lamont and Stefanowski are largely self-funding their campaigns.

Lamont, who does not take the $150,000 annual salary available to him as governor, reported $25.9 million in investment income over the past three years. Stefanowski reported significant investment income in 2020, when he had $2.3 million in capital gains.

Stefanowski’s tax summaries are posted on his campaign website.

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