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Heinz Kerry made $5.1m

Teresa Heinz Kerry reported $5.1 million in income on her 2003 tax return, an amount derived almost entirely from interest and dividends from her investments, according to the first two pages of the return, which she disclosed yesterday.

The wife of Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry paid $627,150 in federal taxes last year. That put her at the relatively low tax rate of 12.3 percent on her total income, because more than half of her earnings came from municipal bonds, which are tax-exempt. Her taxes were 27 percent of her taxable income, which totaled $2.3 million.

Heinz Kerry's income matched the figures the Kerry campaign released in a summary last May, under pressure from Republicans. She had refused to release her tax returns since marrying Kerry in 1995, saying she did not want to make her finances public. Last spring, she said she would provide the first two pages of her form 1040 when she filed the return this month after an extension.

Heinz Kerry reported almost no ordinary wages last year. Her self-employment pay and a pension payment of $35,448 total less than $60,000, the return shows.

"She's got less than $60,000 subject to the rates normal people pay," said Joseph B. Darby III, a partner in the tax practice at the Boston law firm Greenberg Traurig, who reviewed the tax return yesterday.

Darby said Heinz Kerry's taxes reflected a common investment approach for wealthy people. Her assets are roughly split between low-yielding, tax-free bonds and dividend-paying stocks.

Heinz Kerry gained most of her fortune in an inheritance from her former husband, the late Senator H. John Heinz III of Pennsylvania, an heir to the HJ Heinz Co. founders.

The Center for Public Integrity, which tracks the candidates' finances, estimates Kerry and Heinz Kerry's combined annual income to be at least $20 million, based on Kerry's annual financial disclosure report. But the report provides broad ranges of income values, rather than specific figures. Heinz company stock is the largest single generator of income in the combined Kerry-Heinz Kerry disclosure, and the largest single asset.

Beth Healy can be reached at

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