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Bachmann's farm income is a complicated story

Posted by: Updated: August 20, 2011 - 7:53 AM

By Tony Kennedy

Rep. Michele Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, repeatedly have denied receiving any financial gains from the government-subsidized family farm in western Wisconsin that the two of them are invested in as descendants of Marcus’ parents.

“Michele and I don't deal with the farm,’’ Marcus told the Star Tribune in a recent interview. “We have never received a dime from the farm.’’

But Michele’s congressional financial disclosure forms for calendar years 2007-2010 show combined “farm income’’ of $36,000 - $117,500 from the Bachmann Family Farm Limited Partnership.

The latest of those statements was released less than two weeks ago, showing a big increase in the value of the farm into the range of $500,000 to $1 million. The farm’s value in the previous two years was reported in the range of $100,000 to $250,000.  Despite the increase in farm value, the couple’s reported income from the farm dropped in 2010 to a range of $5,000 to $15,000. In each of the previous two years the income was stated in the range of $15,000 to $50,000.

So, how is it that the farm hasn’t paid them a nickel?

“We list it because he’s a trustee, but we don’t receive any income at all from the farm because he is the trustee and it’s in what’s called a family limited partnership,’’ Michele Bachmann told Bloomberg News.

The Aug. 16 Bloomberg report quoted a campaign statement saying that all the farm income earned by the Bachmanns, who are limited, minority partners, remained with the partnership.

According to the Environmental Working Group, based in Washington, DC, Bachmann's "late father-in-law, Paul Bachmann, received $259,332 in subsidies in 1995-2008. Bachmann did not get federal farm subsidies directly...Bachmann Family Farm LP does not appear in the EWG Farm Subsidy Database."

Those subsidy payments stopped according to the group's database after Paul Bachmann died in 2009.


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