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Romneys donated 16% of income to LDS church, charity

With all of the tumult raging over whether Mitt Romney pays enough in federal taxes, there’s another way to look at it: Over the last two years Romney and his wife, Ann, have donated more than 16% of their income to charity.

That means that the Romneys are sending more of their assets to charity than the federal government. According to the returns released Tuesday by the Romney campaign, Romney and his wife will have paid an estimated $6.2 million in taxes for the 2010 and 2011 tax years, while handing out more than $7 million in charitable contributions.

The chief beneficiary of the Romneys’ largesse has been the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Romney follows the Mormon Church’s tenet that he tithe, handing over at least 10% of his income to the church. The tax returns show that Romney has donated more than $4 million to the church over the last two years.

The Romneys have also sent about $2 million to the Tyler Charitable Foundation, the nonprofit that the Romney family controls. The LDS church was also among the foundation’s beneficiaries, along with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, the Center for Treatment of Pediatric MS in Boston, Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the George W. Bush Library in Texas, among several others.

Last weekend, the former Massachusetts governor was asked whether his steadfast financial support of his church could damage him politically with some voters

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“Gee, I hope not. If people want to discriminate against someone based upon their commitment to tithe, I’d be very surprised. This is a country that believes in the Bible. The Bible speaks about providing tithes and offerings. I made a commitment to my church a long, long time ago that I would give 10% of my income to the church. And I followed through on that commitment,” Romney said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Romney said he “made a promise to God and kept that promise.”


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