State GOP leaders Wednesday called on Mark Dayton to provide more information about any interests he has in trusts and other investments outside Minnesota, accusing him of hypocrisy for advocating higher taxes on wealthier Minnesotans while having some of his assets over the years in trusts in South Dakota or other investments in the Caribbean.
"It appears on the surface that Mark Dayton is practicing the 'do-as-I say, not do-as-I do,' adage," said GOP chairman Tony Sutton, who said it's unclear what tax liability the DFLer would have faced if the assets were in Minnesota.
But Dayton's campaign dismissed the GOP demand, saying it is based on old information and that he is paying taxes on any trust income.
"The Republican Party's information is outdated," said Dayton spokesperson Katharine Tinucci, saying more current information is on file with the state Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. " All income from the trust distributed to Mark is fully taxable in Minnesota."
In his financial disclosure statement filed this year with the state, Dayton listed an interest in a family trust that holds more than three dozen stocks. His statement says the securities in that trust provide Dayton with income, but after his death they will be given to charity.
Tinucci said Dayton is a beneficiary of a trust held by his father but it does not have holdings in the Cayman Islands or British Virgin Islands, two places in the Caribbean where the GOP said he has had investments. The Dayton campaign did not respond immediately to whether he has business interests in the islands through some arrangement other than trusts.
The GOP relied on financial disclosures that Dayton made while he was a Senator from 2001 to 2007 to press their case that a substantial portion of his assets have been held outside of Minnesota. The Republican leaders said he owed Minnesotans a fuller accounting of the value of any current assets outside the state. They said the arrangements appeared to provide him with the bulk of his income, though they offered no dollar estimates to back up the claim.
While Dayton released his income tax returns earlier this year, they don't reveal the extent of his assets. Most of his wealth stems from a blind family trust he does not control.. Republican candidate Tom Emmer has not released his income tax returns.
Sutton stressed that he wasn't calling for an end to tax sheltered trusts -- a device used by wealthy Republicans as well as Democrats.