Deukmejians Paid $20,086 in 1985 Taxes

Times Staff Writer

Gov. George Deukmejian and his wife, Gloria, paid $20,086 in taxes last year on income of $70,174, according to copies of their tax returns released Monday.

They were entitled to no rebate and instead had to pay a $7,054 tax bill and $229 in penalties because they failed to withhold enough money to cover taxes on the governor’s outside income, the returns showed.

Patrick Formby, the Deukmejians’ accountant, said the governor underestimated the taxes he would owe on $12,000 in fees he received from four speaking engagements.

“He’s going to be more careful next year if he gets some of these honorariums,” Formby said.


The Deukmejians reported receiving $49,811 from the governor’s state salary, $4,870 in stock dividends, $3,261 in interest and $232 in royalties from a Long Beach oil well.

For his speeches, Deukmejian received $5,000 from Claremont McKenna College, $2,500 from McGeorge Law School and $1,500 from the Robert Louis Stevenson prep school in Pebble Beach. The governor’s chief of staff, Steven A. Merksamer, graduated from all three schools.

Deukmejian also received $3,000 for delivering a speech at the University of Redlands.

The Deukmejians paid a total of $14,237 in federal income taxes for 1985. But because they had only $9,363 withheld from the governor’s paycheck, they had to pay a penalty of $144 along with the difference of $5,018.


Similarly, they paid $4,186 in state taxes for the year. But because only $2,150 was withheld by the state, they had to pay a penalty of $85 along with their $2,036 tax bill.

Such penalties are due, Formby said, when taxpayers have less than 80% of their tax payment withheld during the course of the tax year.

The Deukmejians also paid $817 in real estate taxes, $608 in sales taxes, $204 in motor vehicle taxes and $34 in unsecured property taxes. Although Deukmejian opposes public financing for state political races, he and his wife earmarked $1 each for the presidential election campaign fund.

They reported making $1,191 in unspecified cash contributions and $24 in unspecified political contributions.


They did not, however, check any of the boxes on their state tax return providing for contributions to political parties, senior citizens, endangered species, the prevention of child abuse or the United States Olympic Committee.

Three Dependents

As they have in previous years, the Deukmejians claim as dependents all three of their children--Leslie, George and Andrea.

On another front, Deukmejian formally announced Monday that he will support Proposition 51 on the June ballot. It seeks to limit the amount of money that a defendant in a lawsuit who is judged to be only partly at fault can be required to pay.


Insurance companies and local governments support the measure as a way to reduce the cost of liability insurance and protect “deep-pockets” defendants who have a greater ability to pay. Trial lawyers oppose the initiative on grounds that it will unfairly limit the amount of money that victorious plaintiffs are entitled to receive.

“Strong action is needed to prevent further erosion in the stability of services and the availability of liability insurance,” Deukmejian said in a speech to the Jewish Public Affairs Committee. “I believe Proposition 51 on the June ballot will help to address the deep-pocket problem.”