SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Caitlyn Jenner's earnings have fallen precipitously in the last several years from a high of $2.5 million in 2016 when she had her own reality TV show to $550,000, tax filings show.
Jenner is among those running in California’s upcoming recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom. All candidates were required to release their tax returns for the past five years by last Friday, though Jenner and many of the other hopefuls only submitted four years because they haven't yet filed their 2020 returns.
Newsom signed a law in 2019 requiring candidates for president and governor to release their tax returns to be on the California ballot. It was passed in an effort to force former President Donald Trump to release his tax returns during the 2020 election. A court struck down the presidential requirement but left it in place for gubernatorial candidates. This is the first election in which it’s applied.
Jenner was the 1976 Olympic decathlon gold medalist who married Kris Jenner and appeared with her on the reality show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Jenner came out as a transgender woman in 2015.
Her tax returns offer a glimpse into how her fame benefitted her financially.
She made $1.9 million in 2017, when her memoir “The Secrets of My Life” was released, and $2.5 million in 2016, which was the second season of her reality show “I Am Cait." She made roughly $1.5 million on the book. It wasn't immediately clear from the tax returns how much Jenner made from the show.
Jenner’s income was about $550,000 in both 2018 and 2019. Much of it came through an entity called Team Tours Inc. and her business, Cait's World. Her campaign did not respond to request for comment about what type of work Jenner did for either business.
She also earned income and paid taxes in Australia, Greece, Indonesia, the United Kingdom and Ireland. She made by far the most in Australia, where her 2019 tax filings show $320,000 in gross income. That year she appeared on the British show “I'm a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here," which was set in Australia.
Jenner is currently in Australia forming a celebrity version of the reality show “Big Brother."
All of Jenner's charitable giving went to her Caitlyn Jenner Foundation, which says on its website it provides grants to organizations that empower transgender people.
Candidates for governor were also required to file statements of economic interest that show their investments. Jenner's forms show she holds stock in dozens of companies, including investments worth $10,000 to $100,000 in California-based Facebook and Google. She has up to $10,000 worth of investments in Boeing, Wells Fargo, Berkshire Hathaway and many other companies.
The statement values Cait’s World and CJ Memories, her publishing entity, between $100,000 and $1 million. She also has an aircraft holding company called Caitlyn Aviation and is a passive investor in Luma Sun Care Inc., a skin care company run by her associate Sophia Hutchins.
Newsom released his 2019 tax returns in May, which showed he made $1.7 million, about a half-million more than he earned the year before, his last as lieutenant governor. Newsom’s campaign said he released his tax returns to the secretary of state, though they have not been posted online. Since Newsom is technically not a candidate in the recall, he was not required to file them.
The recall election is Sept. 14. Here's a look at tax information for other major Republicans among the 41 candidates:
–Kevin Faulconer, a Republican and the former mayor of San Diego, took home between $69,000 and $80,000 in mayoral salary annually from 2016 to 2019. He also hasn't filed his 2020 returns. Faulconer filed jointly with his wife, who runs an events business in San Diego. The couple's charitable giving was donations to Goodwill.
—John Cox, a multimillionaire Republican businessman who lost to Newsom in 2018, had $0 in taxable income in 2019 after recording losses on some of the apartment complexes he owns and taking deductions including $139,000 in charitable giving.
—Assemblyman Kevin Kiley reported $113,000 in income in 2020, which included about $1,400 from the sale of cattle from Ose-Kiley Cattle, the company he owns with former Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Ose, another candidate in the recall election. He also reported receiving over $10,000 in loan repayment assistance from his alma mater, Yale Law School. Kiley paid about $18,000 in federal tax that year and was eligible for a refund of about $1,600. He is a Republican.
—Real estate investor Ose and his wife, filing jointly, reported about $717,000 in income in 2019, the most recent year available. Their tax bill was $193,000 but they had made total payments of $260,000 so were eligible for a $67,000 refund.