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Spin Check: Rick Perry's "Income Taxes"
BY Omar Villafranca

What is Spin Check? As part of our coverage of Decision 2010 and the elections that affect Texas, we put political ads to the test.

Taxes are a big deal during the campaign season. Raise them? Lower them? Pay them?

Gov. Rick Perry's latest ad, "Income Taxes," claims his Democratic opponent, Bill White, didn't pay his taxes.

Let's spin check it.

Here's the text:

"Bill White doesn't pay his own taxes, but he wants to raise yours.
Recently, Bill White admitted that he didn't pay income taxes in 1995.
Maybe that's why he refuses to release his income tax returns to the people of Texas.
What else is he hiding?
We may never know.
Come clean Mr. White.
Bill White doesn't pay his taxes.
But he wants to raise your taxes.
Bill White. He's in it for himself."

The part of the ad that says, "Bill White doesn't pay his own taxes, but he wants to raise yours," is FALSE.

White even posts his income taxes, what was owed and what was lost, on his website.

The claim that "he wants to raise yours" is a reference to an interview White with the Texas Tribune.

The claim is FALSE because in the interview, White never said he wanted to raise taxes. In fact, he didn't commit to raising or lower taxes until he checked out the state's financial situation.

The ad also says White "admitted that he didn't pay income taxes in 1995," which is also FALSE. The Perry campaign makes that claim based on a story by the Dallas Morning News.

We should note that White's complete financial records for 1995 have not been made available to the public.

White's campaign says the former Houston mayor did make more than $130,000 in 1995 before he left the Department of Energy. So should be have to pay taxes on that? Well, the campaign operatives also says White lost a lot of money that year starting a company called "White Acquisitions."

Also, information from the Department of Energy says that White had more than $21,000 worth of federal taxes withheld from his paychecks at the DOE. He also paid into Social Security and had Medicare tax withheld. Any taxpayer will tell you that what the government takes from your paycheck is equal to paying your taxes.

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