Rep. Ed Markey, the Democratic nominee in the Massachusetts Senate race, made eight years of his previous tax returns public on Friday.
The filings, obtained by the Boston Globe, date back to 2005 and show Markey reduced his federal tax rate to under 20 percent by taking large deductions on mortgage interest payments, property taxes, business and work-related expenses. His deduction ranged as high as $49,066 a year. Based on his congressional salary, which ranged from $140,777 to $161,433, Markey's top tax rate should have started at 33 percent, according to the Globe.
The tax returns also show that Markey collected $11,600 in Social Security benefits, and that he donated an average of $2,000 a year to charity.
Markey's Republican challenger and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez, who spent years earning hefty sums in private equity, reported an average effective tax rate of 21 percent between 2006 and 2011 on Wednesday. His campaign has not made available his 2012 tax return. Gomez came under fire earlier this month for taking advantage of a questionable income tax break in 2005, claiming a $281,500 deduction for promising not to alter the facade of his historic Cohasset, Mass., home.
The race for the deep blue Senate seat continued to heat up on Friday, after Gomez denounced a new web video by calling Markey "pond scum."
"I don't think there's anything more offensive," Gomez told a local news reporter. "You know I've got four young kids, and they gotta sit there and gotta see an ad with their dad -- who served honorably, talk to anybody I served with -- whether as a pilot or as a SEAL, anybody I worked with. And for him to be as dirty and low, pond scum, like to put me up next to bin Laden, he's just gotta be called what he is. It's that simple."
A spokesman for Markey fired back, characterizing the attack as a sign of Gomez's desperation.
The TPM PollTracker Average of the special election, which will be held June 25, currently shows Markey with an 8-point advantage.