WASHINGTON--President and Barbara Bush paid $99,241 in taxes on an adjusted gross income of $452,732 in 1990, slightly less taxes and income than in the previous year, according to their tax return.
The return, made public by the White House on the deadline for submitting tax returns, compares to the $101,382 the Bushes paid in 1989 taxes on total income of $456,780.
One reason for the lower taxes and lower income: The president's blind trust didn't perform as well as it did the year before, perhaps reflecting the recession that economists say began late last year.
The trust, which handles Bush's holdings from his days as a Texas oil baron, reported a capital gains loss of $11,822 in 1990, of which $3000 was claimed as a tax deduction.
Capital gains are profits from the sale of stocks and real estate.
By contrast, the year before the president's blind trust reported a $36,068 capital gain.
Adjusted gross income included Bush's $200,000 salary, $245,911 from his blind trust and $1000 that Barbara Bush made for an article she sold to Reader's Digest last fall on the importance of reading to children.
The Bushes claimed $97,118 in itemized deductions, including $38,667 in contributions to 50 charities.
Bush reported receiving $7042 in royalties in 1990 from his 1988 campaign book, Looking Forward. Both Bushes donated the proceeds from their writings to charity.
Presidential spokesperson Marlin Fitzwater said it was not clear why the president's blind trust took such a capital gains loss, presumably on the sale of stock.
Because the trust is blind, no details are available on transactions. The trust is managed by Bessemer Trust Company of New York.
Bush has long advocated a reduction in the capital gains tax rate, now the same as for other income. However, a lower capital gains rate wouldn't have helped him personally in 1990.
The return showed that the first family, which pays taxes quarterly, was due for a $14,129 refund--of which $10,000 was to be applied to 1991 taxes.
The return lists Bush's occupation as "president" and his wife's as "housewife."