Nellie Gorbea releases taxes, champions transparency and open government

Providence – This morning, Nellie Gorbea, Democratic Candidate for Secretary of State, released her personal income taxes for the last five years. Earlier this week, Gallup Poll released a national poll that showed Rhode Islanders rank second from the bottom in their trust of government.

“60% of Rhode Islanders have lost trust in their state government, the second worst in the country. We cannot restore that trust unless office holders and candidates are completely open and accountable to the public about their finances. Seeking a leadership position comes with a responsibility to show voters that you have the integrity to represent them. Candidates for Secretary of State should model transparency and accessibility. Today I am releasing my tax returns for the past five years, to provide Rhode Islanders with a full accounting of my finances. I call on my opponent in this race to do the same,” stated Gorbea.

“Every election should present an opportunity for voters to be hopeful about the future of our state. Hope can only exist if people trust their government leaders. I aim to show Rhode Islanders that I mean it when I say I run on a platform of transparency and open government,” continued Gorbea, who served as Deputy Secretary of State from 2002 - 2006.

“The Secretary of State is the state’s Chief Information Officer, providing Rhode Islanders with the information they need to hold government accountable. As Secretary of State, it will be my mission to make government open and accountable – to ensure that government works for the people, not the insiders and interest groups,” she added.

Gorbea has held leadership positions in both the public and private sector in Rhode Island for the past 20 years. Gorbea’s priorities as Secretary of State include: assuring elections are fast, fair and accurate; shining a light on how government works so voters can see who is influencing Rhode Island government; and making sure that businesses have the information they need to start and thrive.

If elected, Gorbea would be the first Hispanic woman elected to statewide office in New England.

Executive Summary

Nellie Gorbea and her husband Steven D’Hondt have filed their taxes jointly through Turbo Tax for the past 12 years. From 2009-2013, their incomes have been earned from their salaries. Steven D’Hondt is a Professor at University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography and Nellie Gorbea was Executive Director of HousingWorks RI, a nonprofit coalition that works on affordable housing and economic issues. They have three daughters under the age of 12 who are included in their calculations for deductions.

During the time 2009-2013, their joint adjusted gross income ranged from $210,424 last year to a high of $259,345 in 2012. Their joint income was temporarily higher in 2011 and 2012 while D’Hondt served as Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography. Gorbea’s income decreased in 2013 when she resigned her position as Executive Director of HousingWorks RI to run for Secretary of State.

Last year, the D’Hondt Gorbea’s paid $32,520 in federal tax and $10,200 in state income tax. Their major federal tax deductions are their state income and property taxes, home and charitable contributions. In 2013, the family contributed $6,630 to charities and deducted $6,681 in mortgage interest and $7,918 in property taxes on their family home in North Kingstown.