WASHINGTON — Sen. Joseph Biden and his wife, Jill, earned $319,853 last year, according to tax returns released Friday, making them one of the least wealthy U.S. Senate families.
The Democratic vice-presidential nominee's income also puts him well behind the two major presidential contenders' families. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, has not released her returns.
Biden made 10 years of documents public. His most recent filing listed his Senate income of $161,708, while Jill Biden earned $66,546 from her job teaching English at Delaware Technical and Community College.
Joe Biden, a Delaware senator since 1973, also earned $71,000 in royalties for his 2007 memoir, "Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics," and $20,500 for a law course he teaches at Widener University in Chester, Pa. He reported $99 in taxable interest.
The Bidens listed $62,954 in itemized deductions, including $14,912 for state and local income taxes and $11,604 for real estate taxes. They also deducted $38,712 in home mortgage interest.
All this left them with a tax bill of $66,273, but because they had too much withheld, they were entitled to a refund of $6,514.
The Bidens also paid $772 in taxes for a housekeeper in their Delaware home.
The Bidens' income, which has been fairly steady over the years, is dwarfed by Barack Obama's. The Illinois senator and his wife, Michelle, reported earning $4.2 million last year, much of it from book sales.
Republican presidential nominee John McCain last year reported earning $405,509. The sum included his Senate salary, book royalties and pensions.
John and Cindy McCain have filed separate returns throughout their 28-year marriage.
Cindy McCain, who is chairwoman of the beer distributorship founded by her parents, reported an income of about $6 million in 2006. She has not released her 2007 returns.
The McCain-Palin campaign says Palin will release her returns, but it has not said when they will be available.
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