Emanuel claimed part-year residency in '09
BY ABDON PALLASCH AND MONIFA THOMAS Staff Reporters December 11, 2010 9:44PM
Rahm Emanuel and his wife, Amy Rule, at the White House last year. | AP
Updated: April 19, 2011 5:09AM
When Rahm Emanuel originally filed his 2009 Illinois tax return, he indicated he was only a “part-year resident’’ of the state that year, since he had moved to Washington D.C. to serve as President Obama’s chief of staff.
But after he decided to return to Chicago to run for mayor this fall — and after several people challenged whether he was eligible to run based on the fact that he hadn’t lived in the city for a full-year prior to the Feb. 2 election — he filed an amended return.
“The original return’s statements regarding part-year residency were not accurate,” Emanuel and his wife wrote in a return filed Nov. 24. “The amended returns make clear that we were full-year residents of Illinois in 2009. ... We are also full-year residents of Illinois in 2010.”
The tax returns were among the hundreds of documents released late Saturday in response to a Freedom of Information request by the Chicago-Sun-Times. They are meant to bolster Emanuel’s candidacy against challenges before the Chicago Board of Elections that claim he gave up his residency when he and his family moved to Washington and rented out their Ravenswood home, and is therefore ineligible to run under Illinois law.
But Attorney Burt Odelson, who is leading the charge to knock Emanuel off the ballot, said Saturday night that the fact that Emanuel filed the “non-resident and part-year resident’’ tax return shows even he acknowledged — at least initially — he wasn’t a resident in the last half of 2009 or for most of 2010 before he moved back to the state recently.
The documents could factor into a decision Monday on whether Rule will be called to testify on the residency issue before the Board of Elections. Emanuel is expected to testify Tuesday before the board.
Emanuel spokesman Ben Labolt said taken in total, the documents show he should be allowed to run.
“Rahm’s tax return makes clear that he always remained a Chicago resident and continued to pay income taxes in Chicago in 2010, in addition to property taxes, maintaining car and voter registration in Chicago and being clear that he intended to return to Chicago once his service to President Obama was complete,” he said.
On the original Illinois return, in response to the question, “Were you, or your spouse ... a full-year resident of Illinois during the tax year?’’ Emanuel checked “No.’’ He said he lived in the state only until June 30, 2009.
But in the amended return, the couple said the original return was incorrect and “inconsistent with our continued payments of Illinois estimated tax, both in the original 2009 return and subsequently. ... (We are also full-year residents in 2010 and have therefore been paying estimated Illinois taxes for 2010).’’
The documents also include the couples’s federal tax return, which shows their 2009 federal adjusted gross income was $227,784, including $57,947 in dividend and interest income, $16,274 in rental income and $4,229 in royalties. The return also includes about $10,000 from sources in “various” countries.
The state return includes an additional $80,648, listed as a “distributive share’’ from “a partnership, S corporation, trust or estate.’’ That brings the couple’s total income on the Illinois form to $308,432. (The $80,648 is listed as tax exempt on the federal return and not included as part of the adjusted gross income.)
Also included in the filings released Saturday were many e-mails and documents regarding the leasing of their home, including a 2009 e-mail from Rule in which she writes that she and Emanuel “are NOT leasing with any remote potential to purchase. So please don’t lead people to believe that this is or might be an option.”
And they include a list of “cherished personal possessions” left at the home, including clothes their children wore home from the hospital when they were born, Rule’s wedding dress and an overcoat that Emanuel’s “grandfather gave to my father and my father gave to me.” Emanuel’s birth certificate from Michael Reese Hospital is also included.