Posted: 12:00 pm Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

David Perdue earned $55 million over 10 years, tax returns show 

By Daniel Malloy

Our colleagues Shannon McCaffrey and James Salzer have been sifting through businessman and Georgia U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue’s tax records. Here is what they found:

A review by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows that from 2003-2012, Perdue earned $55 million and paid $21 million in taxes, or 38 percent.  That effective rate varied from year to year. Perdue began to pay a lower tax rate after he left as the chief executive officer of Dollar General.  Since then, he’s been an investor and small business owner in Perdue Partners, the export and consulting company he founded with his cousin, former Gov. Sonny Perdue.

David Perdue paid a 9 percent effective rate in 2010, when he took a hit on EcoGrow stock. But in 2008, he earned $24.8 million and paid 48 percent in taxes after the leveraged buyout of Dollar General.  Among the $9.1 million in taxes he paid that year was a “golden parachute” tax of $2.7 million from the discount store chain.

In 2007 and 2008, Perdue raked in $42 million from Dollar General.

The tax returns also show that Perdue earned $1.3 million from Pillowtex in 2003, the same year the company failed leaving thousands jobless. Perdue was brought in as chief executive officer of the North Carolina textile manufacturer but left after less than a year at the helm. The company folded just months after Perdue left.

Over the 10 years of tax returns reviewed by the AJC, Perdue donated about $1 million to charities, or just under 2 percent of his income.  The high was in 2012 when he donated $289,120. The low was in 2008 — when he earned nearly $25 million — and donated $28,127.

Georgia Tech has been a big beneficiary of Perdue’s charitable giving. Perdue liquidated $358,512 in Dollar General stock and donated the proceeds to his alma mater.

U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey released five years of returns. The Marietta Republican made an average of $354,054 per year, about doubling his Congressional salary with investments, Social Security benefits — Gingrey is 71 — and retirement account payments. He paid an average of 22.3 percent of his income in taxes.

Former Secretary of State Karen Handel started this merry-go-round by releasing her taxes first and asking the other campaigns to do so. Rep. Paul Broun has declined and Rep. Jack Kingston’s camp has indicated that he will but so far has not released the returns. Democratic front-runner Michelle Nunn’s campaign said she “plans on making additional financial information available” but didn’t elaborate on what that meant.

18 comments
Kamchak
Kamchak

Shorter EdUktr-poo suitable for any and every occasion: "But...but...but...OBAMA!"

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

David Perdue is a clear cut businessman with involvement in management.His ability to maintain focus and loyalty have to be questioned because of his short term experience at multiple companies moving from Sarah Lee to Haggar, Inc. to Reebok to Pillotex to Hillshire to Dollar General to Aquila Group and now Perdue Partners.Also, intermittently serving on Boards of Liquidity Services, Interstate Power and Light, Alliant Energy, Wisconsin Power and Light, Cardlytics, Easton Bell Sports, Graphic Packaging Holding, Iowa Power and Light, JoAnn Stores, and Pillowtex.In general, when I review a resume’, it makes me nervous to see such poor focus and persistence.Is he disliked or unable to work with people?I don’t think we want such a person representing us in Washington.He would appear to have little experience in the community, with healthcare, international affairs, social programs, community programs, etc.The focus appears to be on widespread personal profit making without regard for the stability of America or other citizens of the country.

EdUktr
EdUktr

So David Perdue pays a higher percent of his revenues in taxes than does President Obama—and gives way more to charities than Joe Biden. 

I'm sure a coming AJC editorial will salute him for both accomplishments.

honested
honested

What do you have to do to put a company out of business and still 'earn' 1.3 million dollars in a year?

DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

I actually don't mind a politician already being wealthy, makes them harder to buy. That being said I didn't know his ties to Sonny were beyond just being cousins. That's a deal breaker for me.

DS
DS

What about Deal? Where are his financial disclosures? That ought to make for some interesting reading.

MaryPolleys
MaryPolleys

@Ralph-43  People talented in the fast-paced, rapidly-changing global marketplace who can turn companies around often have this kind of resume. It indicates the ability to focus on the big problem, analyze possibilities, and make strategic decisions. This is the kind of thinking we need in Washington. This voter is VERY tired of lawyers who make a lifelong career of politics....or anybody, for that matter, whose "profession" is getting re-elected.

honested
honested

@Ralph-43  

Or in short, he displays the talents of one who is quite capable of focusing on oneself but unable to focus on the needs of the governed.

honested
honested

@EdUktr  

Yassah, we's gots ta make sure to votes fo massah perdue on account's hes gots da mos' money!

Or we can let those of you stuck on the republican plantation stick with that flawed logic.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@EdUktr You have to have some degree of pity for the sad, dismal lives led by people whose very existence seems to revolve around their obsession with anything Obama. No matter the subject at hand, sooner or later a lamentation about Obama emerges. Go to the sports pages, the business section, the blogs, and no matter what the subject under discussion, within 20 minutes of publication, the sufferers of Obama Derangement Syndrome begin polluting the comments with their compulsive/obsessive rancor. Unfortunately for the rest of us, they are well represented in congress, such that you have 60% of the house and 40% of the Senate suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome. 

Sad for them, sad for the country as a whole.

DS
DS

Most textile manufacturers in the south closed down over the past few decades as the industry moved to Asia-Pacific countries. I doubt there was anything Perdue could've done. Don't know why he took the job, though.

honested
honested

@DewieCheatem_n_Howe  

Look closer and you will see the tentacles wrapped around the imaginary 'support' for destroying the Savannah River estuary.

DannyX
DannyX

@BurroughstonBroch , Oh the humanity!  A political column covering politics!  Conservatives whine about everything.

EdUktr
EdUktr

@honested @EdUktr  

Next time you be dusting in Missy Michelle's bedroom ... how 'bout you see if you can come up wif dem Nunn family tax returns?

EdUktr
EdUktr

@AuntieChrist @EdUktr  

Oh, please do be more original than to pirate the old term Bush Derangement Syndrome for your own use!

honested
honested

@DS  

Apparently, because it contained a guaranteed,  no cut contract for 1.3 mil.

Amazing how the American version of capitalism works.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@EdUktr  "Oh, please do be more original....."

says the guy who posts basically the same comment day after day after day about Nun's TV ads, or when replying to Bernie.  

I'll take your advice and try to be more original in the future, but there are only a limited number of synonyms for crazy and obsessive that I can use.  I think "stuck on stupid" is more appropriate to describe you, but in the interest of civility, I used Obama Derangement Syndrome instead.